But, as Nina Pineda looks back she's found 7 of the biggest pitfalls consumers made in 2011 that you can learn from and save thousands in the New Year.
The first lesson is to always run a vehicle history report or hire a mechanic.
Two viewers would've saved thousands and a lot of frustration before forking over cash for used cars.
Lesson number two, is to be wary of door to door scams.
Viewers kicked themselves falling for a shady salesman selling work no one needed.
"Why did you take $1,300 from this woman?" Nina Pineda yelled.
After 7 On Your Side's visit he paid up but claimed innocence.
He still wound up in court accused of conning senior citizens by the state and ordered to pay restitution.
And who can forget this year's super soaker, Hurricane Irene slammed the coast, canceling weddings galore and leaving couples high and dry on hefty deposits.
7 On Your Side, got more than $40,000 back for the couples but we all learned Event Insurance will protect your party against any disaster, from cold feet to evacuations.
2011 also saw several 7 On Your Side viewers in mistaken foreclosure.
Turns out each trusted their approved mortgage modifications went through and began paying lowered amounts.
The lesson, verifying any change to your mortgage in writing's a must!
The next lesson is don't pay for what's free.
One viewer paid for a property tax break which could've been done on her own for free.
The heartbreakers of 2011 involved homeowners, on the hook for tens of thousands, making two major mistakes.
Hiring unlicensed contractors is the first no-no, if they skip out or do shoddy work, you have no recourse.
And number two, is don't pay in full up front!
One homeowner got stung for paying in full up front.
It's best to pay in installments after the work is done to your satisfaction.
They are valuable lessons we all learned from this year!
7 On Your Side hopes by exposing them, less people get ripped off next year, but if they do 7 On Your Side is there for you, on Facebook, on Twitter, and online.
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