I really like when sites where you can buy plane tickets list the price with the tax and fees. Then you know exactly what you’re going to be paying when you buy the ticket. Which is nice because if you travel and stay in a hotel, your hotel bill is all but guaranteed to be filled with taxes and fees of all sorts.
Hidden fees continue to drive me crazy, and I may have a new favorite hidden fee. And when I say “favorite,” I mean “fee I find absolutely ridiculous.”
Two friends and I split a room this past weekend for a friend’s wedding. We ended up in a “suite” with a pull out couch so no one had to sleep on the floor. We were told the “suite” cost an additional $10 over the price of a standard room with a rollaway.
Fine, no problem.
We were expecting all sorts of taxes and perhaps a few extra fees on our bill, as that seems to be the norm with hotel bills, but I was quite surprised to see this one: extra occupant charge – $20/night.
I know what you’re thinking. Three people in a room designed for two (even though there was a pullout couch). So they charged extra for that third person. Prevents college kids from cramming 15 people in a room that sleeps three. Fine.
Except that this extra occupant charge wasn’t just for one person. It was charged for the extra TWO people in the room. That’s right – the standard room rate was just for one person.
I can’t even begin to explain how ridiculous I find that. How much more can it actually cost the hotel for a second person in the room, especially a room with only one bed? I suppose it might be a bit of extra work for housekeeping. And I suppose that’s two showers instead of one, and two sets of towels instead of one. But still. $20 for a second person in the room?
Extra occupant charge. Ridiculous.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.