How to Avoid Paying Fees at the Bank is a valuable life skill. The money is yours anyway- why are they charging you to watch it? When I worked in banking, the word “fee” was a magic word. Senior management loved fees. Just look at this list of common ones: overdraft fee, NSF (non-sufficient fund) fee, annual fee, minimum balance fee, replacement card fee, monthly maintenance fee, check cashing fee, and the ATM fee. These are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.
I can tell you from first-hand experience that these fees are almost always paid by those people who live paycheck to paycheck. It’s the ones who really don’t have the extra $36 laying around to pay for overdraft protection who pay it.
How To Avoid Paying Fees at the Bank
Some of these fees you will avoid from now on with a strong budget and by paying as many bills as you can with cash. Since you have cash you won’t need ATM machines. You won’t pay overdraft fees for bouncing checks because you have a budget and know the money is there to cover bills.
Paying the bulk of these fees is absolutely ridiculous, so here is what you should look for in a checking account:
- No annual fee
- No minimum balance
- No monthly maintenance fee
- No overdraft protection fee (when using your own money to pay for overdraft)
- Plentiful ATM machines to avoid fees
- Also look for other perks like discounted checks, rewards points on debit cards, loyalty programs with retailers, and staff you can develop a relationship with at your local branch
These checking accounts can be difficult to find. I use a small local bank and they fit most of this criteria. I have had fees waived before when I screwed up because I developed a good relationship with the staff.
If you don’t want to put in that time, check out an internet bank. While most books I read recommended these, I have to be honest that I’m not a huge fan. When I was getting out of debt, I did many cash-only jobs (things like tips in restaurants and working under the table as a cater waiter), and I needed to go immediately and drop my pay in the night drop at my bank so I didn’t spend it. However, I am a big fan of internet banks for savings.
If you would like to earn more on your savings check out How To Find Savings Accounts That Pay More Money!
Laura M. Oliver is the author of Singles: Take Control of Your Own Financial Journey. It is available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon.