Tire rotations, baby gadgets, and personal fitness equipment are things that are supposed to save money down the road. But actually may cost consumers more money.
Purchase any appliance or electronic device nowadays, no matter how expensive, and you are almost always asked, "Do you want the extended warranty with that, or the service protection plan?"
Kevin Brasler of Checkbook Magazine said, "When you dig into the details for these policies, you'll often find that you know there are so many exclusions they really are rendered almost useless."
Many consumers found that out the hard way when their trip insurance didn't help when vacations were canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns last year.
"A common exclusion in those plans, one is pandemics, others are things like hurricanes and earthquakes, things that you'd think that a plan that marketed itself as total protection would protect against, they don't," Brasler said.
Checkbook adds another unnecessary cost is tire rotation. They advise not to do it unless it's free.
"You're paying more for the rotation work than you are getting from the savings in terms of extending the life of your tires," Brasler said.
They also suggest skipping on baby gadgets like wipe warmers and swings that supposedly magically calm your infant.
Another place to save is on an expensive boutique gym membership and look for used or even free equipment online.
"There are so many people looking to get rid of their rowing machines and other things like treadmills that you often don't pay full price for them," he said.
Other things on Checkbook's master list include ATM fees, cloud data backup, bottled water, and dry cleaning. You can access Checkbook's entire list here until October 1.