Saving money is always a good thing, but there are just some products and services that are a no go. The financial services industry is very guilty in that they offer a lot of services that sound great — only to find that they really don’t do what they say they’re going to do. In order to avoid being scammed, it’s time to cut your costs and remove these items from your budget right away.
The first item to remove would have to be mobile phone insurance.
It’s great if you want to really make sure that you will be able to replace your phone quickly. However, you still have to make sure that you weigh the options here. You may be able to just add your mobile phone to your home and contents insurance, which could be cheaper than the 100 GBP on average that you’ll pay your mobile phone carrier for the same privilege.
If you have an older phone, you may also be able to just pick up a used phone with no fuss as well. Don’t forget to look through all of your options here!
Another financial product that we had to highlight here are store cards. These are offered to help you get a discount on your purchase at the shop, but the truth is that these cards have a very high interest rate. If you really need to buy on credit, getting a regular credit card is probably what you want to do instead.
The only time where you would want to get a store card is when you really have no other option for credit and you really need to rebuild your credit.
The next product up on the list is payment protection insurance. There was a major scandal of PPI recently, where thousands of UK consumers found themselves with worthless policies.
If you’re going to get these policies, you really want to make sure that you spend a lot of time — and we mean a lot of time! — looking through the fine print. The premiums can add quite a bit of money to any loan product. You may be better off with income protection insurance, which can help you in more ways than PPI can. Still, buyer beware!
There are also debt management plans that should help you get out of debt — but do they? Not always. You will want to make sure that you look into how the plan actually helps you. There may be heavy fees to get the program started, and it may leave you without any chance of really getting out of debt.
There are plenty of non-profits that you can look into that can help you with your creditors. There’s no reason to feel like you have to spend money that you don’t really have!
Identity theft insurance is another costly product that can end up eating into your budget. Don’t get us wrong here — it is really a hassle to have your identity stolen, and there are risks and dangers to it as well. You don’t have to have to deal with ruined credit due to high credit card bills.
You will want to make sure that you check out what you will actually get by signing up for the policy. Some companies just print off a lot of sample letters and send them to you — that’s a big waste of time, and you don’t want to do that at all.
If you are proactive about ID theft, you won’t have any liability — or if the bank does decide that you could have been more careful, your liability is limited by law.
Secured loans are shaping up to be a bad financial risk as well — many people are finding that their income is very shaky, and if you can’t make the payments you will find yourself running the risk of losing your home unless you can work out alternate terms.
Overall, are there times where these products can really help you save money? Perhaps, but you will still have to be a smart shopper and weigh the terms and conditions against your own needs. When in doubt, throw it out and save money!