Price of 7 common emergency expenses (3 28 24)

Looking to hire local pros such as exterminators and electricians? Find out why you should shun Google later on in this email.

💵 Today’s Top Stories
Cell Phone

Watch out for these unexpected expenses. Here’s how to prepare your wallet. Read more.

Residual Interest

A Clark listener just paid off her credit card balance. She felt surprised when she owed “residual interest” the next month. Is that legal? Read more.


Connect by T-Mobile offers plans as cheap as $10 per month. Here’s the money-saving plan Clark recommends and how it compares to other bargain cell phone providers. Read more.


Mile Auto is one of the most well-known companies that specializes in pay-per-mile auto insurance. Team Clark tested the insurance firsthand, and here’s what we found. Read more.

💵 Shun Google When Hiring Local Pros Such As Electricians and Exterminators

It’s hard to find trustworthy local mechanics, exterminators, electricians, locksmiths, appliance repair and other pros.

National rollups – where private equity buys out dozens or hundreds of small local businesses in the same industry – are one factor. Because they often retain the name of the local business, you may not know you’re dealing with a company that may be anything but local at heart.

But a real underlying issue is that Google’s search results have become more and more ad-driven.

“Doing a Google search for a local service provider is a recipe for disaster,” Clark says.

“It’s the kind of thing Google could clean up. They have made no effort in this area because obviously all they’re chasing are the dollars.”

Instead, Clark recommends you turn to Nextdoor, a gated neighborhood app that can help you fetch recommendations from real people. He also suggests joining local Facebook groups and asking members for various recommendations.

Another solution is Angi (formerly Angie’s List), which specializes in finding vetted options in your area for these types of jobs.

You could also try an alternative search engine such as DuckDuckGo.

📊 Stat of the Day

📺️ $61: The amount the average American household pays per month for streaming. That’s up 27% from 2023 ($48/month). About 48% say they would cancel even their favorite streaming service this year with another price increase of just $5.

💰️ Deal Alert: Today’s Top Deals
Costco Wholesale warehouse
🎙️ Podcast

Clark has long talked about 529 plans as a way to save for a child’s education. If you’re a grandparent who is interested in helping to save for your grandchild’s college, there’s a new loophole you need to know. Also, the car market is normalizing, but there are winners and losers in this shift. Unfortunately, the number of upside down loans is growing. Clark has important advice if you find yourself in this situation.

☎️ Need Money Help?

The Team Clark Consumer Action Center is a free helpline that can help you navigate your money questions. Call 636-492-5275. Visit for more information.

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