Your banking account might have some leaks that are draining your hard-earned money away if you aren’t paying attention.
Many fees, much like death and taxes, are an unavoidable part of our lives and wallets. Yet there are plenty of fees that are easily avoidable and should be avoided if at all possible.
Here are some of the most common ones:
Credit Card Interest
Avoiding credit card payments can be a slippery slope and the interest fees can add up over time. The best course of action with credit cards is to pay off your balance each month if possible.
Some businesses will charge you a fee if you don’t pay over a designated amount when making a purchase. These small charges can add up over time, so try and bring cash with you for those small transactions.
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Credit Report Fees
There is no reason to pay any amount of money to check your credit score. By law, all citizens are able to a free credit report once a year, which has actually been increased to once a week until the end of 2022. AnnualCreditReport.com is where you need to go for free reports from the credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Taking money you don’t have out of your checking account can come with a sizable fee of around $35. This will happen for each transaction that overdrafts from your account, so it is something you want to catch early.
You can opt out of overdraft fees and have your bank simply refuse the transaction, or call your bank to see if you can waive the fee. Some banks like Citibank are doing away with these fees altogether.
Checking Account Fees
Always make sure to read the fine print and see if your account requires a minimum balance or has any other fees attached to it.
Late Payment Fees
A late payment can mean not only a fee, but also a rise in your interest rate and a mark on your credit score. A good idea is to always have reminders set to pay your bills and never miss a payment.
Planning ahead will ensure that you will never need to throw away money at an ATM again. Locate your bank’s ATM machines in your area, or choose a bank that provides free ATM transactions.
Money Transfer Fees
You should never have to pay a fee to send money with all the apps that offer this service for free. Apps like CashApp, Venmo and Paypal allow you to send money at no cost, but make sure not to get impatient. They’ll let you pay a fee to get access to your money faster, but that is just throwing money away.
While this is not a “fee” necessarily, paying monthly for services you don’t use is just burning good money for no reason. Go through your account and see what recurring charges are happening for things you don’t need anymore.