Stop Paying These 5 Fees
Looking for a way to earn a few extra dollars to put toward paying down debt or fattening up your emergency savings account? It can be as easy as eliminating unnecessary fees from your financial life.
Review the list of fees below to see which ones you’re paying. They all represent pure profit for the institutions charging them and give you virtually nothing in return.
You’ll be surprised at the savings that will add up over time when you stop paying these fees. Start keeping more of your money today! Just say no to the following fees:
Credit Card Fees
If you’re paying an annual fee just for having the use of your credit card, find one that doesn’t charge an annual fee, transfer the balance, and close that card. Additionally, if you find yourself racking up over-the-limit or late payment fees, sign up for account alerts to tell you when you’re about to exceed your credit limit and when your payment is due. Better yet, enroll in automated payments (more than the minimum, of course) and never miss a payment again. If your’re routinely maxed out on cards or have trouble making payments, consider seeking credit counseling to evaluate your overall financial situation.
Quite simply, it should never cost you money to get your money. The good news is, ATM fees are easy to avoid. Simply use ATMs only at your financial institution, or look for a bank or credit union that reimburses fees charged by other ATMs. An easy alternative to ATM use is getting cash back when using your debit card to pay for transactions. Or you can go old-school and actually go inside the bank and get cash directly from the teller.
Ouch! Bounce a check and it could set you back as much as $38 a pop (Denver has the nation’s highest overdraft fees); more than one and suddenly you can’t make the mortgage for the month. Better record-keeping and cash flow management can help you avoid overdraft fees. And if you need more assurance, see about adding overdraft protection or a line of credit to your checking account. If you have to dip into either, be sure to pay it back quickly to avoid incurring interest charges.
These are usually offered on bigger ticket electronics items like TVs or computers – and may seem tempting. But don’t take the bait. Most of these products already include a manufacturer’s warranty. Additionally, if you pay for the item with a credit card that offers purchase protection, you’ll have that safety net, too.
Checking Account Fees
Much like ATM fees, if your financial institution charges you a monthly fee (or per check fee) for simply having a deposit account with them, close it and go elsewhere. Many online banks, credit unions and traditional banks still offer truly free checking.