Clever Hacks for Getting Out of Paying Every Kind of Fee | 22 Words

Who doesn't love saving money? It's a pretty universal goal for people. And because of that, there are tons of stories from other people who know how to work the system!

Of course, some of these hacks are a little more ethical than others. Some are just good for a laugh. You won't believe the things people have done to save a few bucks! But there are also useful tips, including how to get out of parking fees, take advantage of free subscriptions, and all kinds of other things. A few people on this list saved hundreds (even thousands!) on tech.

So check out this list of super clever hacks. You might find a bunch of things that you can apply to your own life!

Parking permits can be an expensive chore.

Parking permits for my university were ridiculously expensive since it was in a downtown area. I'm talking like $700 a year minimum. I only had class three days a week so it didn't make sense to pay for a semester-long permit.

Right next to the university is a movie theater with its own parking structure, parking is validated with the purchase of a movie ticket. This particular movie theater has a deal for university students on weekdays, $3 movie tickets if you show your student ID.


But this was a pretty sweet plan:

So instead of parking at the university lots, I would park in the theater lots, buy a $3 ticket and then just go to class. I'd get my parking ticket validated and go home. I'd estimate I spent about $250 each year doing this.

After a while, I signed up for some sort of point system the theater offered that got me an insane amount of perks since as far as they knew, I was watching three movies a week at their establishment.

Essentially I saved $450 a year and got multiple free movie tickets and merch out of it.


Parking fees are even more stressful when you're dealing with childbirth at the same time.

When my son was about to be born, we had to stay a while at the hospital and the parking time bill racked up really quickly. Been there for 4 to 5 days so that was about 15-20$ per day ... But you only had to pay a 20$ fine to get out if you lost your ticket.

Let's say I played the "I lost my parking ticket I'm so sorry" game.


There's a bunch of places to apply this logic.

I do the same thing at my apartment building when friends visit me. It doesn't matter how many days they stay because we can just hit the "lost ticket" button and pay the fee for one day. I have no moral qualms about it, the parking in my neighborhood is stupidly expensive and we don't get any guest spaces. -RathrDash1ng

Know how to navigate sales.

8th-grade school book fair with a buy one get one free sale. I had $20 and wanted four books. Two books cost $11 each, the other two cost $8 each. With these sales they ALWAYS make the two cheaper items free so I would’ve ended up spending $22 which I knew I couldn’t afford.  -thespinelesshorseman

Use the rules to your advantage!

So, I took the two $11 books up and paid for them so one of them was free. Then, I pretended to “discover" the two $8 books I also wanted and paid for those. I ended up with enough left over to buy myself a cool eraser on top of it all. -thespinelesshorseman

Apparently, some stores don't even care.

I do this, but I don’t bother pretending. Just walk up to the register and say “I’d like to pay for these first, and I’d like to pay for these separately." Never had a problem. -SineWave48

Ever realize you're too late to cancel appointments without a fee?

If you try to cancel an appointment during the time in which there’s a cancellation fee, ask if you can re-schedule for a later date to avoid the fee. Then once they give you the new appointment date outside of the cancellation fee required period, then ask to cancel said new appointment. Boom roasted. -RindgeTinge17

Make new e-mail accounts for free subscriptions.

When my kids were young Chuckie Cheese had a club you could join that offered coupons. The bonus coupon to sign up gave heavy discounts on tokens. It made it affordable to go on a regular basis. Just needed to keep signing up for new memberships. I would make a new throwaway email every week. -DifferantialEquation

If you've got tech skills, you've got an advantage.

Asked a teacher if I could have a broken computer. He said I could if I could fix it.

Sat there and fixed it and took it home.


Heck, the computer doesn't even have to be truly broken.

I've done this a few times. Knowing how to replace a hard drive or laptop battery in a 'broken' computer can save you thousands of dollars. -4a4a

Because "broken" and "just a little TLC" are two different things.

I got a laptop once by putting it in safe mode and then resetting.

It just had to reset to fix the problem.

Also saved my boyfriend from buying a new laptop because his was just too cold.

Brought it home. Told him to keep it off. The next day it was fine.


There's a strategy to air-travel.

I fly to Atlanta from SFO often. I would fly in the morning and always buy the cheaper of two tickets which has a layover in Denver. The other flight is a direct route that costs on average about a hundred dollars more.  -Pencilowner

So here's what they do:

When I get to the airport they always overbook the Denver flight 100% of the time and ask for volunteers to change their flight for a voucher. I volunteer to get the voucher and they put me on the direct flight to Atlanta. I’ve done it a dozen times. I book through my company and save them money and I get to keep the voucher for myself it’s win-win. -Pencilowner

Here's some Amazon shipping wisdom.

I separate large Amazon orders into individual No-rush orders. Then I order something with 2-day shipping. 90% of the time, Amazon will throw everything into 1 box, so you get everything in the usual time and you get the bonus $1 reward for every No-rush item. You can avoid paying for digital items from Amazon this way. -elee0228

How to get repairs for CHEAP:

Got my home air-conditioning fixed for $4 at 3 a.m. on a Sunday. I got a call from the realtor at 7 P.M. on a Sunday that the house I was selling the next day at 8 a.m. had a broken air conditioner. I couldn't allow the sale of my house to fall through. I went to the house and tried to fix it (failed) and ended up calling a host of AC companies to see if I could get someone out there on short notice. -shortadamlewis

Some clever thinking:

No-one would touch it without a service contract...standard rate was 3 years at about $120 a desperation I called one of them back and asked what the cancellation policy was. There was a $3,000 cancellation fee, but if you sold your house and provided proof the fee was waived...I signed up on the spot for their deluxe package with 24/7 one hour on-call repair services. -shortadamlewis

In the end, it saved a ton.

A repairman showed up 45 minutes later and fixed my AC. Closed on the sale of the house the next day and immediately sent via certified mail copies of documentation showing the house had been sold and was out of my name along with a check for the pro-rated amount of my bill... around $4.

I really hate that the repair companies were trying to force people into BS years long contracts, but I think I won that one in the end.


This is theater-hopping in the extreme.

When I was a kid and had bigger balls and more time I would buy a ticket for a movie starting at 11 am...and then basically spend the whole day inside the theater watching movie after movie til midnight.

A movie would end...I'd go to the bathroom...stay there 'til the next showtime and then just walk into the next showing.


They even noticed which movies worked better!

This works better during the weekdays (fewer theater workers to catch you), for non-Rated R movies (less of a chance there'll be a doorman right at the door of the theater) and in sad theaters that don't get a ton of business and are staffed by teenagers who just don't care. -PhillipLlerenas

This person had a straight marathon.

I did this last summer and got through Black Panther, Infinity War, Deadpool 2, and Solo. Great day tbh. -ImTheChach

Old tech, but impressive thinking.

Back in the olden days before mobile phones were common, if I needed to call home I'd just call the operator from a pay phone and say that I'd put a quarter in but my call didn't go through, and then they'd connect me for free. -dulcian_

Free trials can come in handy.

Sometimes I use those visa gift cards, I use up the money and then use the empty card for any free trial you have to use a credit card for. It lasts until payment is due and then it just cancels the account. -LilEgg0

This is an amazingly devious vacation plan.

In college, a student engineering society was having a meeting in Hawaii for student leadership (the professional conference it was linked with was there), my school didn't have a chapter so I made one, got some of my friends to sign up for it to legitimize it and made myself president.  -ghengiscant

And just like that, Hawaii time.

They paid for me to go to Hawaii for a week all expenses paid. I had to bluff my way through one meeting with other student leaders from the other university chapters but after that, I could do whatever I wanted. Food, transportation and my stay in a very nice resort were all paid for. -ghengiscant

The old, wholesome way to get free stuff:

I got a library card. I then used that card to check out books, read them, and return them before the due date. -nonsensepoem

You know...fair enough.

The true non-shady way to get stuff for free. Our libraries have free passes to the zoo, aquarium, and museums. We can download audiobooks to listen to. I mean they have limits to some of this stuff, but it's still free. I can even get free online classes that can lead to a certificate. There are a lot more than just free books at the library. -OPs_other_username

Okay, this is actual shoplifting. You don't need savings THAT badly, people.

While working at Sunglass Hut, it was fairly common for people to walk in, take their $20 pair of sunglasses off their head and try on a pair of $200 ray bans, put the shitty ones where the ray bans were on the shelf and walk right out. With 500 pairs of glasses in the store that all look alike unless I watched it happen it would usually go undiscovered for hours. -shitz_brickz

Interesting way to avoid buying a calculator!

During my first year of college, I had a chemistry class that the final would only allow a 'scientific' calculator but would not allow a graphing calculator (which I already owed for calculus). Being that I was a college student I didn't really want to shell out $25 for a scientific calculator when I already had a better calculator and would only use it for 2-3 hours during the final. So I ended up going to Walmart and realizing that the calculators would work still in the packaging so long as I pushed hard enough through the plastic to hit the buttons. So I ended up buying it to only return it after the final was over. -Secret_Consideration

Free Netflix, anyone?

I just keep signing up and cancelling Netflix free trials every month with a different email address. Sometimes they'll catch on with detecting the same credit card number so I'll use a virtual account number from my bank and they won't know. -bloatedkat

Congratulations, you're a winner!

Entering competitions and contests used to be like a serious hobby and little income stream of mine.

Didn't pay to see a film at the cinema in years and went regularly. The phone I'm writing this on? Won it. Trip to Sydney? Thanks, MTV. Concerts, DVDs, CDs, magazine subscriptions, books - heaps of random stuff all for free. Even won a f**king ax once.


When you pre-order a game and it sucks:

One time I pre-ordered Call of Duty on Amazon just to play the demo. Once I played the demo, I called Amazon and they let me know I couldn't cancel digital good (I pre-ordered the digital version). Since I knew I wasn't going to play the game because I didn't enjoy the demo, I had to do something. -SuperJaxx5


So, I just waited until right before the release date and drained my account that Amazon was attached to, and they then emailed me to let me know the card didn't process and that they will be canceling the preorder. Take that! -SuperJaxx5

Confused people get pity.

I haven't done this on purpose, but I found a way to ride the city bus for free. Our public transit system has one of those plastic card programs, the ones that you can reload with money, etc. instead of using cash to buy your tickets. A few months ago my bus pass card demagnetized or something, so when I went to tap it on the reader, it didn't register.

I knew I had money on it so I must have looked pretty exasperated as I tried over and over to swipe it. The bus driver took pity on me and just waved me in without paying. I thought maybe it was a malfunction of the card reader and forgot about it.

A few weeks later I had to get across the city, which required several connections. Lo and behold, the card still doesn't register when I tap it. Again, the bus driver saw my look of confusion and waved me in. It happened again on the connecting bus, and then the next one.


So, there's always playing dumb.

I figured that if I wanted to, I could continue to play dumb and use my demagnetized card for free bus rides. I'm lame, however, and got the problem fixed by calling their 800-number and getting a new card. -JesusHoratioChrist Share these wild hacks with your friends!