We often see banks as our local financial institutions where our money is kept safely, with friendly bank tellers, and with the convenience of ATMs around town; however, we often don’t realize how unfriendly their fees are and how much they end up taking from hard-working people such as yourself! You are here because you want to make your money work for you and invest as much money as you can. These fees will eventually add up and eat into your bottom line, so let’s minimize them or rid of them entirely!
Remember, these banks are investing your money to make themselves money, as well as leeching from people in the form of maintenance fees, overdraft fees, etc.
Show me the fees!
Here’s an example of fees your bank might be charging you for at the moment:
Monthly Maintenance Fee
Minimum deposit Fees
Paper statement fees
Overdraft protection fees!
Out of network ATM usage
International Transaction fees
Excessive withdrawal fees (Savings account)
Early Closing fees
Here’s two of the most popular checking accounts provided by Chase & Bank of America.
As you can see, if you’re a Chase customer and have a Chase Total Checking’s account without direct deposit and not maintaining a minimum balance, you’re at least paying $12 monthly for something you could potentially address easily. Don’t pay extra if you don’t have to! Those $12 will add up to at least $144 a year which could be used for investment.
I get it, I don’t want to keep paying fees, but what can I do?
You can always call your bank to find the various types of fees they may be charging you and get them to waive the fees or provide you a different account that has less fees. Below are some steps that you can take to minimize or remove these fees:
Setup direct deposit – One of the easiest ways to avoid some of the checking fees is by setting up a direct. This is very simple to setup and you may ask your HR for a direct deposit form. I’ve documented the process aquí for you to follow.
Maintain a minimum balance – This one is pretty straightforward. Ensure you understand what the minimum balance is for your checking account to ensure you don’t
Open an online account – Alternatively, you can open a new bank account Online! Banks such as Capital one won’t charge you monthly, minimum balance fees for either checking & savings, and no fees for ATM’s. I understand if you can’t switch banks or choose not to do it because of the convenience of brick & mortal ones, but this is an option to consider!
Don’t overdraft – Most banks will charge you an overdraft fee when you don’t have sufficient funds in your debit card. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to make a purchase that you don’t have enough funds, I would rather you use a credit card for these purchases.
Use your bank’s ATMs – There’s hundreds of Chase/Bank of America ATMs, and other major banks throughout most cities. Avoid using other ATMs that are not associated with your bank, as you will not only pay a fee to use that ATM, but you will also get an extra fee from your own bank for using a non-bank ATM.
Go Paperless – Some of the banks also charge for paper statement fees, so ensure that you opt out of this service and not get charged for it if you view your statements online.
Again, we want to ensure we’re not giving away our hard-earned money to our banks just by keeping our money there. We live in 2021, and in my opinion, no one should be paying any kind of fee. The banks need you more than you need them as they invest YOUR money!
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