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Some Major Rip-Offs In Life…

20 November 2009 3 Comments

There are some things that really just tend to be huge rip-offs.  In some cases, you don’t have any other choice and in some you do.  Let’s look at some that really drive me nuts.

HOA Dues

Home Owners Associations have risen in power and in cost.  A big part of this was the recent housing boom, but unfortunately, these organizations haven’t gone bust like most home values.  Since I live in a suburban neighborhood, I’m stuck with an HOA and dues of over $100 / month.  Even more exciting was the recent “assessment” that I received saying that each member had to pay an extra $200 one-time fee in order to make up for the budget gap caused by foreclosures.  Great.

We have a gate, which I’m thankful for, and some decent landscaping.  If that were the only focus, the dues could be cut in half at least.  It’s like our government, let’s not cut spending, let’s raise “taxes”!

Solutions: Move to a different neighborhood, one preferably without a HOA; organize the neighbors and overthrow the current regime!

Air Conditioner Repairs

I’ve had two separate issues with my AC this year.  The first time, I replaced a part that looked like it cost 5 cents to manufacture and got stuck with a bill for over $300.  The second time, this past week, I got stuck with a $500 bill to replace the fan motor.  Absolutely ridiculous.

Solutions: Try and find the part yourself on the internet, you may be able to install it yourself or find someone who can for cheap.  You can probably save hundreds doing this.

Eyeglasses

It is obsene how much eyeglasses cost these days.  My last pair was over $500.  It was nothing special.  I mean, the cost to manufacture them had to be under $10.  It is such a joke.  I haven’t looked but there have got to be some resources online where you can get cheaper glasses.

While I’m on the subject, brand name sunglasses are outrageously expensive as well.  Plus, they break and you lose them.  It’s easily one of the worst investments you can make.  I found a really stylish, reliable pair of sunglasses from Kenneth Cole for $40.  Similar ones at the sunglasses stores were $200-$400.

Solutions: I don’t know… if you know of any, let me know

Sushi

The problem here is that I really like good, high quality sushi.  As a result, I’m usually stuck paying a lot of money for it.  I tend to either avoid it altogether or splurge and eat the good stuff.  Even so, it’s still a pretty good rip off.

Solutions: Be on the look out for cheap, awesome sushi in your city!

Health Insurance

This is a sensitive topic for many people, but honestly, I’m 27, in good shape, never had any medical issues, don’t smoke, don’t drink much and eat a decent diet.  Why am I paying as much as people who eat like crap, don’t exercise, etc.?  It’s a terrible system.

I rarely go to the Doctor, so I definitely pay more in insurance premiums versus the care I get.  I wish i had an easier way to obtain a high deductible “catastrophic” insurance plan so I could lower my costs yet still be covered if I get in a wreck or something.

Solutions: It’s a political topic now, not a medical one.  Therefore, make your voice heard.  Government control isn’t the solution, unless you want crappier service and higher costs.

What are some other rip-offs that you can’t stand?  Leave a comment below.

3 Comments »

  • Daniel said:

    I have to agree with you on the health insurance part. I pay almost $100 a month to get covered, and I get absolutely nothing back. Thankfully, my employer is offering an HMO next year that will slightly lower costs, but would be annoying if I needed it. But barring a serious injury, I shouldn't have to worry about it.

    Why can't health insurance be like car insurance? Excluding higher premiums for genetic factors..

  • Matt Mc said:

    How about holidays?..namely Christmas. It's getting closer to that time of the year and many of us are budgeting for the big blow to the wallet. For the past few years, beginning around November, my wife and I have made a pledge to each other that "this year is going to be different." We come up with creative ideas on how to spend less and give more meaningful gifts. Unfortunately, the plan always falls through. I think it comes down to expectations. I know we'd love to give a handmade gift or maybe something created from a group of people that are in need, but then it is almost certain that the relative we gave peanut brittle to would send us a new Blu-ray player and we're left to feel like a jackass. I don't necessarily want to turn this comment into a "let's put the Christ back in Christmas," but how wonderful would it be if we invested in time with loved ones instead of electronics for brother/husband or high-end dress shirts for dad? I have far more fond memories of those great family times than the nintendos/bikes/he-man figurines..ok..the he-man figurines were pretty rad..I received.

  • 20smoney (author) said:

    Absolutely! I've already had the "lets not do gifts for eachother" conversation w/ my brother in an attempt to save cash this year.