So where to start….
The first and easiest thing anyone can do to take control of their own money is take a look at your bank accounts. More specifically, the rate and fee structures of said bank. Banks are a business, pure and simple. They are there to make money, off of you, by holding your money and lending it out. But most banks nowadays make a killing off of charging YOU fees every chance they get. Need to take money from an ATM? $1.50 please. Accidentally write a check for $5.00 when you had $4.98 in your account? “Sure we’ll pay the 2 cents for you…..that’ll be $30.00 please.”
Learn how much your bank charges you and for what. If you don’t know, you can sit down with a personal banker next time you are there and ask them to explain your accounts to you. If you happen to save all your paperwork like some of us do, simply go back and dig it out, it’s a good read and can save you a ton in fees.
Here are just a few examples of your money going into your banks’ pocket:
-ATM fees- You pay the ATM owners fee of anywhere from$1.00 – $3.00 or more, but your bank may charge you a fee on their end matching or even beating(higher than) the original fee!
-Overdraft fees- Every bank charges overdraft fees and it’s up to you to know how much. One of my now former banks used to charge $35.00 for overdrafts, even if it was only $0.02 as in the above example.
-Account maintenance fees- What are they maintaining? never mind, I don’t want to know, but many banks charge you fees every month just to have your account open! I was charged $5.00 a month for an account I rarely used! There are plenty of banks that charge NOTHING, find one and use it.
In my experience credit unions are the way to go. My current account earns over 1% when the old ones never payed more then 0.1%. The Maximum overdraft fee is $2.50. There are NO maintenance fees and they offer free online banking with bill pay services.
Great banks are out there, take an hour to do research and you save yourself countless dollars in the long haul.
How are some ways your banks have taken YOU for a ride?
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