Banking fees can seem small, but can build up over time into large sums that impact your monthly budget. Therefore, you should put some serious effort into avoiding if at all possible so you can keep your hard-earned money in your own bank account.
Here are some simple ways to avoid banking fees in your day to day routine:
- Read your contract with your bank to understand exactly what you will be charged for. For example, if your checking account starts charging fees after a limited number of transactions, stick to that limit. Similarly, if your checking account will waive some of your fees in exchange for maintaining a minimum balance, be aware of how much you need to keep in your account at all times.
- Pay particularly close attention to ATM fees. If your bank has out-of-network charges, you should stick to your own bank’s ATMs, even if it means you have to withdraw more money on each occasion.
- Some financial institutions charge fewer fees than their counterparts. Shop around for the best bank accounts that have low or no fees. Alternatively, if you are willing to go digital, there are online banks that offer checking accounts with no ATM fees.
- Even if you are not willing to change your financial institution, you might be able to find a better deal at your current bank. Speak to your bank to see what options are available to you, particularly if you have been a good customer over the years by making all of your payments on time and never overdrawing your balance.
- Always keep a close eye on the balance of your checking account. Even if you have overdraft protection, you could be charged with a huge fine for going over your actual balance.
- Finally, exercise increased care and caution when handling checks. If you deposit a check from someone who doesn’t have the cash to honor it, you are going to be charged with a “Deposit Item Returned” fee because you are considered partially responsible for the bounced check.