You use a bank because you want to keep your money secure. You also want to be able to draw interest on your money. The last thing you want to do is accrue fees from your bank. Most of the time cutting down your bank charges is pretty easy as long as you know and understand what your bank charges you for. You can use the steps below to reduce the fees you pay at your bank or cut them out altogether.
Reduce your Bank Charges by Opting for Free Checking
If you have a checking account, use the free checking account that most banks offer. Most of the time they offer this if you maintain a minimum balance, but many banks offer it whether you maintain a minimum balance or not. If this is an option, be sure to make use of it. You can pay so many of your bills online now that it just doesn’t make sense to pay for a checking account if you don’t have to.
Pay Bills Online
Most companies now take payments online. If there is no fee, why not take advantage of this option? This will save you money in the long run because you don’t use as many checks as you would when you write checks for your bills. When you don’t use as many checks you don’t have to have them refilled. A great way to avoid bank charges!
Just because a bank offers overdraft protection, this doesn’t mean you have to use it. Keep detailed records of all of your spending and become familiar with your overdraft protection plan. Some banks charge one set fee. Others charge a fee every day. Some even try to run the transaction through more than once and charge you each time it is declined. When it comes to your debit cards you can usually decline overdraft protection from the start. Opt to have the card declined if the funds aren’t there. This will help you avoid overdraft charges when you forget what your balance is and try to use your card. Be mindful about the transactions with your bank as it is the first step towards managing your bank charges wisely!
Use Your Bank’s ATM
When it is possible, use the ATM offered by your bank. It’s usually free to use so you avoid the fees that other ATMs charge. In some cases the ATM at other banks will charge a fee and then your bank may charge a fee on top of it. This means you sometimes pay more than 10% to withdraw money from your account.
Most of the time you can avoid bank charges if you just make sure you know the details of what your bank offers and take advantage of the services they provide. Don’t be afraid to ask questions so that you can learn all that you need to know. There may be services you aren’t even aware of. The people at your bank are there to serve you. Take advantage of their knowledge so that you can get the most out of your banking experience without spending all of your money.