Search Icon
header-learningCenter

MEDIA CENTER

The Money Minute - January 2013  

In this Issue

 

  

 

What is Drip Pricing?

Ever noticed additional fees on your credit card after making a purchase?  Or, have you ever shown up to claim your hotel room and were hit with ‘mandatory fees’ that were never disclosed when you made your reservation?

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), drip pricing is a technique used to misrepresent prices until after a customer makes the purchase. Not only is this deceptive pricing strategy harmful for the consumer, it also makes it difficult for rival companies to stay competitive and not fall prey to the drip pricing model.

Read the entire article.

 

Understanding Compound Interest

We are going to discuss one of the most powerful tools that you have available in your wealth building tool kit -compound interest. All modern financial systems including governments, banks, and your very own personal finances are based upon compound interest. Specifically, compound interest applied over time. The entire concept is referred to as the time value of money.  

To read the entire article click here.

 

Webinar: Recovering From Your Holiday
Spending Hangover

Did you spend far more than you should have over the holidays? In December, we tend to overspend, resigning ourselves to dealing with the problem after the season is over. In this webinar you will learn how to create a spending plan to get you back on track, strategies to pay down your debt and get some great tips to be financially prepared for next year’s holiday season.

The dates for the webinar are:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 --- 12:00pm EST.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 --- 12:00pm PST.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013  --- 12:00pm CST.

To register or to find out more click here.

 

Poll Reveals Majority of Consumers Admit  Financial Problems are Self-Inflicted

According to Apprisen’s December poll, when asked if their personal financial problems were self-inflicted or the result of events beyond their control, the majority of respondents, fifty-eight percent, admitted responsibility for their financial woes. This is an important first step to correcting the problem, taking ownership of it.

 

Read the entire article.

 

 

What is Drip Pricing? 

What’s That Fee?

Ever noticed additional fees on your credit card after making a purchase?  Or, have you ever shown up to claim your hotel room and were hit with ‘mandatory fees’ that were never disclosed when you made your reservation?

Welcome to the world of drip pricing!
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), drip pricing is a technique used to misrepresent prices until after a customer makes the purchase.  Not only is this deceptive pricing strategy harmful for the consumer, it also makes it difficult for rival companies to stay competitive and not fall prey to the drip pricing model.

So what are some examples of drip-pricing?
There is a history of drip pricing in the airline, car rental and dealer, financial services, and telecommunications industries.  However, the hotel industry is just developing a bad reputation for drip pricing. With the advent of travel sites vying to be the lowest-price aggregate for consumers, the hotel industry is now under the microscope.  Some ways of tacking on charges include:

  • Newspaper Fee
  • Towel Rentals
  • Internet Access
  • Pool Fees
  • Housekeeping Charges
  • Fitness Room Fees
  • Surcharges for Local Phone Calls
  • Bottled Water
  • Parking (some charge even when you do not have a personal vehicle on-site)

It pays to be an aware consumer.
To avoid unpleasant surprises at check-in, there are ways to be aware of what your total cost will be.

  • Be informed.  Read the fine print before you submit your payment.  Know the difference between estimated price and total price. 

  • Always confirm.  Call to confirm the total price of your room and specifically ask about any “resort fees.”

  • Fight-the-fees.  If you were charged fees you were unaware of, ask to speak with the manager to see if they can be removed.  

  • Have your confirmation in-hand.  Make sure you have a copy of your confirmation. If it does not list the charges, fight it.  Request a charge-back from your credit card company.

  • Report abusers.  You can file a complaint with the FTC.  To submit a complaint:
    • Visit https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov 
    • Call their toll-free helpline: 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357)
      TTY: 1-866-653-4261
      Tell the company of your intentions, and you may get a faster, better result. 
  • Boycott companies.  If an organization dupes you into paying drip-pricing fees, change companies.  Let the company know that you are electing to boycott their companies and you will also let everyone know why you’re doing so.  Negative word-of-mouth can have disastrous effects on a company’s brand—especially with the viral nature of social media.

Drip pricing is becoming such a problem that the FTC started issuing warning-letters to those guilty of misleading consumers.  The letters state that, “the FTC may take action to enforce and seek redress for any violations of the FTC Act as the public interest may require.”  (Sounds like it may cost companies more to deceitfully charge consumers than it does to be upfront and honest from the beginning.)  Even with the FTC’s actions, it is important for you to be an informed consumer.  The next time you make a reservation, book a service, or buy online, read the fine-print very carefully.  If you become a victim of drip pricing, get aggressive to ensure the situation is resolved to your satisfaction.

 

Return to the top.

 

 

Poll Reveals Majority of Consumers Admit  Financial Problems are Self-Inflicted

According to Apprisen’s December poll, when asked if their personal financial problems were self-inflicted or the result of events beyond their control, the majority of respondents, fifty-eight percent, admitted responsibility for their financial woes.  This is an important first step to correcting the problem, taking ownership of it.

There is no better time than the start off a New Year to change behaviors. Apprisen suggests reviewing the following financial tips and making a commitment to incorporate a minimum of 5 into your routine. Once you are experiencing success with those, add a few more!! It is taking this process, one step at a time, that will lead to a brighter, more financially fit future!!

Self- Assessment 

  • Evaluate the cost of your current lifestyle
  • Know your net worth – (Assets – Liabilities = Net Worth) 

Savings

  • Put your next pay raise towards your 401K
  • Determine a realistic amount to transfer automatically to a savings account and then don't touch it
  • Save your change
  • Change one spending behavior a week, and put that money you would have spent in your savings account

Credit

  • Cosign for a loan only if you are prepared to pay for it 
  • Pull your free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com and pay the nominal fee to check your score 
  • Know the terms and conditions of every credit agreement before you sign them
  • Pay more than the minimum payment on your credit cards

Ways to Save Money

  • Be a savvy shopper, do your homework to find coupons and sales before you leave the house 
  • Look for phone apps that can assist you in tracking expenses, coupons, financial tips, etc
  • Look in your refrigerator and cupboards for items you can use for meals before you go grocery shopping then… 
  • Plan your menu and shop with your list accordingly
  • Shop only with a specific purchase in mind
  • Subscribe to multiple coupon sites, but unsubscribe if you can’t turn down a good deal
  • Make gifts instead of buying them
  • Recycle clothing through consignment shops
  • Donate your time or goods to charity; it may be a tax deduction, but will definitely make you feel good

More Tips

  • Track every penny that you spend for two weeks 
  • Take care of your own financial responsibilities before taking on those of others 
  • Give yourself a weekly cash allowance for food and entertainment 
  • Teach your children the difference between wants and needs
  • Refuse to pay bank fees!!  Go only to network ATMs, and use a check register to record your account balance
  • Make an appointment for a no-cost initial consultation with a certified counselor at Apprisen if you don't know where to start getting your finances on track

 Return to the top.

 

 

Apprisen BBB Business Review United Way