Keeping track of money is more difficult than it has ever been before. It used to mean looking at your bank statement and keeping track of the cash in your wallet. Not anymore!
Today, a large majority of transactions take place online. It has made life more convenient, but it has also increased the number of fees charged for various services.
Here are five fees that may be draining your bank account that you don’t have to pay if you know what to do about them.
Money Service Fees
It is nearly impossible to exist nowadays without a bank account and/or credit cards. The banks and credit agencies know this. That’s why there are so many fees associated with their services.
- Some banks charge monthly checking account fees.
- Some banks charge fees if a certain amount of money isn’t in the account.
- The average overdraft fee is a little over $30.00
- Credit card interest can be as much as 30 percent.
- Credit cards can charge monthly fees.
Avoid these fees by choosing your bank account and credit cards wisely.
If you send money to friends and family with a money transfer service, you’ll pay plenty of fees too. You can avoid large fees and poor transaction rates by choosing the right service, like Remitly.
ATM fees have become so commonplace that most of us roll our eyes and press the ‘yes’ button every time the ATM tells us how much our transaction will cost. That’s a big mistake.
Some machines are charging as much as $5 per transaction! That’s a silly fee to pay if you can get your money for free instead.
If you use an ATM issued by your bank, you won’t have to pay a fee. Make sure you take out a large chunk of cash, so you don’t find yourself at the local gas station, willing to pay that fee to get your money.
If you have loans through a financial institution, it pays to have your checking account there too. Many will waive ATM fees, no matter where you withdraw cash if you use their lending services.
Late Payment Fees
One of the dumbest fees you can find yourself stuck paying is a late payment fee. That’s because these fees can easily be avoided if you keep track of your bills and pay them on time in the first place.
It’s not just your bank account that will take a hit when you get stuck with a late payment fee. Your credit score will be affected too. Also, certain loans and credit cards will hike up your interest rates, which means there will be even less cash to go around.
How about being charged a fee to make a payment, even when that payment is on time? These fees aren’t uncommon, but they’re also easy fees to avoid if you know what to do.
For example, some institutions will charge a fee for processing a payment over the phone when making a payment by sending a check in the mail is free. You do have to weigh the pros and cons, though. If you’re making a payment over the phone to avoid late fees and higher interest rates, it might be worth the fee they charge to make the payment.
Other institutions may charge you a fee to process your payment online or process a credit card payment. In other cases, you may be charged a fee for partial payment. An example would be choosing a monthly payment on your car insurance instead of paying six months upfront.
Look closely at the fees you are expected to pay and see if you can choose a different payment form that reduces or eliminates fees.
Paying for shipping used to be the norm when shopping online. That’s not the case anymore. As stores expand their online offerings, they are also expanding their free shipping options.
You can get free shipping by:
- Purchasing a certain amount to qualify for free shipping
- Shopping when shipping is free
- Looking for free shipping codes before you make a purchase
- Getting a membership, like Amazon Prime, that locks in free shipping.
Two dollars here and five dollars there can really add up. That money should be going into your savings account instead! Make sure you can spend more of your hard-earned cash exactly the way you want by avoiding the fees on this list.