Most of us are creatures of habit. Changing something once it becomes a normal habit can be a bit of a pain. Normally this isn’t an advantage and in the case I am about to describe below it definitely worked against me.
The Cable Modem Rental Fee
We had an old cable modem when we signed up for our cable, internet and phone package. We found out my old modem would not work with the new company’s system when they came to hook up our services in our new townhouse. I wasn’t too surprised as the modem I had was quite old but it was a bummer still.
The company let me rent a cable modem from them for $4 a month. At the time I vowed to buy myself a modem so I didn’t have to pay this rental fee but I got lazy and forgot about it. I saw the modem rental fee on every bill. It isn’t like I forgot about it because I actually read all of my bills. Over a year later I am still using the rental modem. The price has even gone up 20%, which admittedly is only $1 more a month.
This month I finally researched cable modems on Amazon. I called the cable company to ensure the modem I was considering buying would work with their system and that it wasn’t a technology that was going to become obsolete soon. The modem was $80 but it sure beats paying $5 a month. The modem will pay for itself in 16 months. If I hadn’t been lazy when we had the service hooked up the modem would have already paid for itself.
It Could Have Been Worse
The cable modem fee, while annoying, wasn’t a huge monthly expenditure. It did provide a needed service because we didn’t have a modem we could have used. What really gets me are the bigger fees or avoidable expenses that people don’t discontinue because they are lazy.
Remember that service you signed up for a year ago that you never use anymore? Why don’t you cancel it? You know it is because you’re lazy or you think you’re going to use it but never do. Just cancel it and save the money! When you’re ready to start back up again you can sign up again if you wish.
The other one that really gets me are the fees or avoidable expenses that provide absolutely no value. Have you ever had a bank account that originally had no fees and then decided to add some crazy fee that adds no value for no reason? Yes, it would be a hassle to switch banks but I would never support a company that does this to their customers. Get out before it gets worse.
Banks Are Some of the Worst Offenders
My girlfriend had an account with Wachovia many years ago. Wachovia was decent to her and she wasn’t ever charged any fees. Then Wells Fargo came along and bought Wachovia. It was a painful transition and just a few weeks ago they started charging her fees.
She had already moved most of her money and banking to ING Direct but still kept the Wells Fargo account open for a local branch. Now that they added these minimum balance fees she’ll be closing her account and opening one with a bank or credit union that doesn’t charge any crazy fees just for having an account.
Has there been anything in your financial life you’ve gotten lazy about? Come on… be honest… what is it? Whatever it is, let me know in the comments below!