Money-saving mistakes that can cost big bucks

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by Gary Harper

Bio | Email | Follow: @GaryHarper3TV

azfamily.com

Posted on August 15, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 15 at 4:35 PM

PHOENIX -- When it comes to banks, consumers remain pretty disgusted with them. Much of that resentment stems from the fees that banks pass on to you.

One Phoenix woman told 3 On Your Side, "Banks charge us so much already. All the little nickles and dimes. My hard-earned money is going towards those fees. We are giving them money and they are making money on that money. So, I really don't like them."

Some consumers think they should switch banks hoping to save fees. For example, switching to a bank that offers free checking. However, be careful before you do that.

According to www.dealnews.com and others, switching banks can be costly. Consumers frequently wind up with overdraft fees because they forgot about a check or automatic bill payments in the account they close.

Another way to cost yourself money is spending plastic just for the rewards. People with rewards cards spend more than double every year than consumers who have non-rewards cards.

They feel compelled to spend more because they know they're racking up points.

Now, I'm a big fan of warehouse clubs, but some consumer advocates say warehouse clubs could cost you more if you're not careful.

Some items you want to buy in bulk, and save. But, you have to watch and see how much you're spending per unit. Sometimes buying just one item is cheaper in the end than buying it in bulk.

Sharing the maximum amount you can spend a month is a big no-no. Car salesmen are infamous for asking, "How much can you afford a month?" You might think it's beneficial because then the salesperson will find a car within your budget.

However, never answer that question because they'll bloat any deal to reach or exceed the maximum amount you're willing to spend. Instead, focus on the cost of the car itself and make sure it fits your monthly budget.

And, finally, using outlet stores are likely to cost you more down the road because manufacturers produce cheaper goods that may not last as long.
  

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