Avoid “Bill Shock”: 5 Ways You’re Throwing Your Money Away

As much as we try to save on bills that swamp us, there are hidden costs along the way that seem to spring up and bite you from the back when you least expect it.

Here, we suss out 5 ways that your next bill may shock you, and how you can prevent it to save yourself from the all-too-often panic attacks.

  1. Phone bill costs
bill shock

(Image credit: www.saveup.com)

Today’s millennials simply can no longer live without a smartphone. The smartphone is the gateway to everything. Furthermore, it acts as your PA. It reminds you of upcoming birthdays, it keeps you connected to your otherwise non-existent friends, it is your solution to appearing knowledgeable, and is handy for when you need to “keep busy”.

All the little time spent on your phone adds up. And you would have wished you had watched a little less YouTube, served a little less on Instagram, and minded less about people’s business on Snapchat when your monthly phone bill arrives.

For the next month, take control of your phone bills. Free apps such as My Data Manager or Onavo Count make for great tools to monitor your data usage. Both are available on Apple and Android.

  1. Overseas purchase and currency conversion

(Image credit: commons.wikimedia.org)

It is in everyone’s nature to be unique, and looking unique is part of the equation. Therefore sometimes, we cannot help but do some online shopping with overseas brands.

It all seems harmless and appears to be an effective way to shop, until your credit card company charges you at their own currency conversion rate. That is when you realize that the items you bought are not as affordable as you previously thought.

Keep in mind the next time you do online shopping with a different currency. If possible, convert the foreign currency to a local one, so that at least you will not be at the mercy of your credit card company’s exchange rates.

  1. Letting your taxi meter run as you get stuck in heavy traffic


So you inadvertently overslept for work the next day thanks to a soccer match. You flag for the next oncoming taxi hoping to beat time. But when you fall right into the throes of peak-hour traffic conditions, the fare meter is racing as fast as your heart is.

Why give yourself the unnecessary morning stress and panic? You can eliminate fare uncertainty with GrabCar, where you always know your fixed fare upfront. Once you have keyed in your pickup and drop off locations and are satisfied with your fare, all you need to do is wait for your ride to arrive. Unlike metered fares that will jump by the distance or time, GrabCar fares remain constant even if you are caught in a traffic jam.

  1. Unlimited flow of drinks

It is your best friend’s birthday, or your cousin’s first promotion at work, and this is a cause for celebration at a bar. It is an occasional splurge, you tell yourself. You make a mental note to make sure no glass on the table is empty, and you put your bill on tab. What matters is that everyone is merry, right?

At the end of the night, you sign your bill off only to realize that you have spent way out of your limit.

Sometimes, it does not take more than a simple suggestion to split the bill between your comrades to spread out your cost.

  1. Hidden charges on restaurant bills
(Image credit: http://www.stomp.com.sg)

(Image credit: http://www.stomp.com.sg)

Cunning as they can be, some restaurants put extra hidden charges on seemingly great service, such as paper towels, starter bread baskets or drink refills. Before you know it, it is already charged to your final bill.

The next time you frequent a restaurant that does something similar, be wiser about it and clarify beforehand, or decline politely when they serve these (chargeable) bonuses to you.

(This article is brought to you by Grab.)


You Might Also Like