A tradition for most of us is "Spring Cleaning." During this change over to nicer, warmer weather we wield a weary wand over the stuff we have accumulated in the recent past. Actually when you start to look at some of the stuff you may find 'recent' doesn't enter into the equation.
I started a little early this year with a complete overhaul of my basement and some of the items I found would be worthy of a Mary Leakey expedition.
But little by little the basement, which is fully one-third of the square footage of my house is starting to take shape much like a woman changing from a moo-moo to a form fitting evening dress.
I also use this time of year to sort through my previous years worth of bills and records in order to get ready for April 15th. We all know that day as the deadline for funding the phony do nothings in the black hole known as Washington DC. And of course THE IRS or what they think your money is - THEIRS.
But this year I noticed a few things that most likely affect us all, corporate gouging of America. And this brings me to the point of this post.
Caveat Emptor! Latin for "Buyer Beware!"
I will not attempt to list every company or industry that is systematically trying to do to you what most young sexually active humans enjoy doing to each other. That would be a post too far. But I would like to pick out a few and starting alphabetically:
AT&T (being used as a generic for all phone companies.) My most recent wireless phone bill just arrived via paperless billing. The paperless way allows the company to save money that they do not pass along to you. They do however get you to agree to use this method of billing by using guilt about the environment. (They really don't give a rat's ass about the environment outside of that one in their penthouses.)
I currently pay for 5 cell phones, (don't ask) but 4 of them were added using the inexpensive sounding '$9.99 add a phone' promotion.
Without getting into too much detail I added up the exact charges I pay monthly and found that over 12.5% is added for governmental taxes etc. and is listed separately by AT&T. But they do not list an additional 6.8% over the base bill in charges I call the BWCs (Because We Can.)
That means my phone bill is inflated by just under 20% over advertised rates!
Check yours and you will find that you are being raped by similar amounts.
Insurance is in the public eye as much these days as are our Congressmen in the pockets of the Insurance lobby.
I will not even talk about health insurance here except to remind everyone that last quarter that industry reported a TWELVE POINT TWO BILLION DOLLAR PROFIT! Obviously no reform is needed there!
I recently switched three of my other insurance policies after shopping around and all I can say is once again, Caveat Emptor!
Everyone is different and each case will be treated differently but I can safely say that if you do not shop you are missing out!
I switched Home-owners from Traveler's (originally Geico) to Merrimack and saved $2,000 per year! TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS!
I took my two million dollar umbrella policy away from Geico and added it to the Merrimack plan and saved 50% or another $400.
Finally I left the gecko and his unbelievably stupid ad campaign (after 40 years!) and switched my three car auto policy to Liberty Mutual. I was and am still paying monthly but at a rate of $102 less per!
All told my insurance savings amounts to $3,600 per year for the same or extremely close coverage in every way. My savings is just under 48% per year.
I'll bet even a caveman could see why I switched!
Some things you cannot change and must rely on the crooks in DC.
But if it is within your power to save and you do not then you only have yourselves to blame!