5 Gifts That Come With Hidden Costs

5 Gifts That Come With Hidden Costs

Have you ever gotten a gift that comes with a hidden cost? Sometimes the sticker price isn’t always the full price. Sometimes you have to spend money to enjoy the full benefits of the gift.

Before buying a gift that will bring the recipient hidden costs, talk about the gift with the person it’s intended for to make sure they can use it – and want it – before you spend any kind of money on it.

Here’s a look at 5 common gifts that come with strings attached.


Fancy single serving coffee makers like the Keurig make an impressive gift, but the cost of the pods can be quite expensive. Before giving this as a gift item to a friend or family member, make sure they can afford the expense of the pods and are willing to put that type of investment into their daily brew.

Some would rather purchase their own coffee rather than spend the time to make it themselves at home. If you do end up buying a coffee maker as a gift, it’s a nice idea to include a starter variety pack of coffee pods with the maker to get them started.


If you’re willing to fork over a few hundred dollars to gift an iPhone, make sure you think about who will be paying the extra charges. While iPods and iPads are able to run on wi-fi, many apps cost money. If you’re buying someone an iPad, it’s a good idea to include a $25 iTunes gift card to go with it.

The iPhone is even more costly. Depending on the carrier, the recipient will be responsible for paying a monthly data plan for the phone. This could be $25 per month which comes out to $300 per year. Now that’s a costly “present”.

Make sure you discuss who will be footing the bill before you spend the cash on the device or they may end up with an additional monthly bill they didn’t count on.

Battery Operated Toys

While some toys come with the batteries, most of them do not. If you’re purchasing an electronic toy that requires batteries, be sure to include the batteries if they don’t come in the package.

Kids like to open and use their presents as soon as they receive them, so it’s a nice gesture to provide the batteries to go along with your gift.


Pets are never a good gift idea unless you’re a family that was planning to get one anyway. Pets have huge long-term costs that are hard to predict.

There are costs like shots, medicine, routine checkups, food, treats and toys. Then there’s the cost of a dog house or bed, the cost of grooming, the cost of a dog walker or dog sitter if they go out of town.

Before giving a pet as a gift, make sure the recipient understands the responsibility and that the family can afford the time and the cost of a pet.

Gift Cards

Gift cards are a popular gift idea because they allow the recipient to indulge in something they wouldn’t normally do. Giving a gift card to Amazon, Walmart or Target is just fine, but a slight issue arises when it’s a gift card to a spa or a restaurant.

The added cost of the gratuity will be extra cash the recipient will need to shell out. For example, a $50 restaurant gift card probably won’t cover the full cost of the meal and drinks for a family of 4, let alone the gratuity at the end of the night. Likewise, a $50 gift certificate for a message may cover a massage, but not the tip.

About Edwin

Edwin is a marketer, social media influencer and head writer here at Save The Bills. He manages a large network of high quality finance blogs and social media accounts. You can connect with him via email here.

View all posts by Edwin →

4 Comments on “5 Gifts That Come With Hidden Costs”

  1. When I was a child, I loved buying battery operated toys and my mom always complained not to buy that kind of stuff. And now that I’m mature enough, I can understand her why she didn’t want a battery operated toy.

    1. Now with rechargeable batteries it’s not such a big deal anymore, but back in the day, those toys ate up regular batteries real fast.

    1. The magazine subscription gift is a joke. The first order comes at a steep discount (the gift), but the renewals come in at full price (your part).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *