Some fees just can’t be avoided, but that doesn’t mean every fee is designed to rip you off. You can feel good about paying fees when they provide enough benefit to justify the cost.
Whether it saves you time, gives you peace of mind, or actually saves you money in the long run – in some cases you’re better off handing over the money.
Related: 10 Fees You Can Avoid Paying
Here are 10 fees that are worth the money:
1. Warehouse club
Paying $55 a year for a Costco membership is worthwhile if you have a large family or buy a lot of food and household products in bulk.
2. Used car report
A CARFAX report gives you the history of a vehicle, including any previous accident repairs. One report costs $35, or you can get five reports for $45.
Phil Edmunston’s Lemon-Aid Used Cars and Trucks guide is another good resource that helps inform and protect consumers when shopping for a used vehicle.
These used car reports can save you hundreds if it helps you avoid buying a clunker or overpaying for a used car. It puts knowledge in your back pocket when it comes to negotiating prices.
3. Auto club membership
If you own an older vehicle that’s not covered by a roadside assistance service, a CAA membership provides emergency gas, towing, battery boosts and lock service along with travel discounts, trip insurance and their famous maps.
The cost of an auto club membership varies by region, but starts at $65. You can sign up online to avoid an enrollment fee.
Alternatively, your car insurance company may offer roadside assistance for a lower annual fee.
4. Annual fee credit cards
Some premium rewards credit cards can carry annual fees of $75 to $120 for features you don’t use, unless you’re a high spender or business user.
Related: Best No-Fee Cash Back Credit Cards
5. Fee-only financial advisor
Financial advisers who work on commission may seem attractive because you don’t pay up-front fees to buy investment products. But that also means they’re always trying to sell you something that may not be in your best interest.
There is a good argument to be made that a fee only financial planner can offer you unbiased advice about the best investment products for you, particularly if you have a substantial portfolio.
6. Professional accounting fees
Unless you are self-employed or rely on commission income, rental income, or significant investment income, an accountant will be somewhat limited in the planning they can do for you.
However, you can also look at an accountant as insurance. You don’t like paying it, but when you need it, you’re glad you have it. There may be years where an accountant can’t provide much in the way of income tax planning, but there will be a year sometime when an accountant may provide advice that covers their fees for the next ten years.
7. Mortgage refinancing
When interest rates are low, many people refinance in order to save thousands of dollars over the life of their mortgage. However, it’s important to calculate your pre-payment charge before you consider refinancing your mortgage.
A pre-payment charge is the amount you will need to pay for breaking the terms initially negotiated on your mortgage. This can be a large amount, meaning you won’t actually be saving money in the long run.
Related: How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster
It doesn’t always make sense to break your mortgage, but a good rule of thumb is if interest rates are at least 0.50% lower than your current mortgage rate, it’s worth looking at refinancing.
8. Safe deposit box
Opening a safe deposit box at your local bank or credit union can be an inexpensive way to protect valuable documents and irreplaceable items from theft, fire or water damage in your home.
Safe deposit boxes vary in price from $45 – $250 per year, depending on the size required.
Your safe deposit box should contain digital copies of all your important records. It’s also a good idea to make a video of the contents in your home and keep a copy in your safe deposit box in case of an insurance claim.
Some popular music subscription services, like Spotify, aren’t available in Canada. One that you can find in Canada is Last.fm, a music recommendation service. You use Last.fm by signing up and downloading The Scrobbler, which helps you discover more music based on the songs you play in your media player or iPod.
For only $3 a month, this music service gives you unlimited radio streaming and personalized recommendations. Sign up and listen to 50 tracks for free before the subscription kicks-in.
With Netflix you can instantly watch as many movies and TV shows as you want for just $7.99 per month. While Netflix is somewhat limited in Canada, there are still over 7,000 films and TV shows available.
Netflix might be a good choice if you enjoy watching your favourite shows and movies more than once. Rather than buying movies or adding expensive cable packages, Netflix offers a cheap alternative and decent selection that will save you money.
Related: 35 Ways To Save Money
Which fees do you think are worth the money?