Identity theft: In the past few months, the federal government has been running a nation-wide ad campaign on identity theft and on-line passwords. You’re way ahead of them in that we talked about it twice over the past year. Protecting yourself on line is huge, but if you missed it, go to yourmoneybook.com and you can search by topic to catch up on how to protect yourself.
Automatic renewals: Everybody from magazine subscriptions cell companies want access to your bank account. They market it as convenient when you can automatically renew or pay. But the downside is that few people remember the renewal and never look at the total charge or the breakdowns. Great for the company – really bad for you.
Tim Horton now has an ad campaign designed to get people to automatically re-load their gift cards through a bank account: ”Could I get one of these and one of those and get my friend here whatever he wants.” A pre-loaded gift card is like a credit card. Tim Horton, and everyone else in the small cash purchase industry, knows that you’re likely to spend way more money with a card, instead of cash!
With a pre-paid card, or credit card, McDonalds average purchase increases 47%, and vending machine purchase per person increases 178%. Small wonder these companies want you to use anything but cash!
Buying on payments alone: The majority of people purchase big ticket items such as vehicles or motorcycles purely on the payments. The is a new car dealer ad on the radio: If I can get you the same or lower payment than you have now, why wouldn’t you trade your vehicle for a new one? It’s very clever and appeals to most people. Sure, same payment but get a new vehicle? But the one you have may be a year from being paid in full, while the new one has you start over for six or seven years. Not a good idea. Never talk about payments alone. You have to start with the price or you can never comparison shop.