Companies love to charge fees as a way to make money. Some make sense, but others are pointless cash grabs meant to improve their bottom lines. There are ways to avoid many of these fees. Here are 11 needless fees you can stop paying today.
Minimum Balance Fees
Some banks charge fees if you let your account balance fall below a certain amount. These fees are typically applied to specific checking or savings accounts.
Their purpose is to encourage customers to maintain a minimum balance. But they are designed to make banks money.
Don’t pay the bank. Instead, switch to a high-yield savings account with no minimum balance requirements.
It’s easy to be forgetful. When it comes to your bills, that inattentiveness can cost you dearly. Take your credit card, for example. Being late on a payment can result in a fee of $30, or more.
To avoid this, put your bills on auto-pay. If that makes you uncomfortable, create an alert on your calendar several days before it’s due each month. This gives a good reminder without hurting your credit.
Checking your credit report annually is a terrific way to see where you stand. However, you should never pay to access your report.
Instead of paying $20, or more, go to AnnualCreditReport.com to access your Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion reports. You can request one from all three agencies each year. Some banks and credit card companies also offer them for free.
An ATM is a great option to withdraw cash in a pinch. Unfortunately, banks love to charge fees to use an ATM. Paying money to access your cash is a terrible idea.
If you often need to withdraw cash, find a bank that waives these fees. There are many that do this for customers. Just make sure you use an in-network ATM.
Hotel Wi-Fi Fees
In 2023 there’s no sense to pay a fee to access Wi-Fi at a hotel, or any business for that matter. If the hotel you’re at charges a fee, see if they offer complimentary Wi-Fi by joining their loyalty program.
Don’t overlook your phone company either. If you have a mobile hotspot, that could help you avoid this fee.
Many Car Dealership Fees
Car dealerships love to charge fees. Delivery fees, documentation fees, inspection fees, and more can add to the bloated cost of a new automobile.
Dealerships are legally required charge some fees. That doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate them down. Ask what they can do, including knocking the fee amount off the overall price of the car to save some cash.
Credit Card Cash Advance Fees
Emergencies occur, and a credit card may seem like a justifiable lifeboat. Taking a cash advance from your credit card can be costly. Not only do you pay a fee of at least five percent of the amount taken, you also pay interest immediately on it.
Opt for withdrawing money from your savings account as a solution. If you don’t need the funds immediately, there are legitimate ways to make money in one hour that can provide a helpful solution.
Paper Statement Fees
Banks and credit card companies view paper statements as a needless cost. Not only do they want to go green, they want to save money.
Most institutions charge at least $2 for the convenience of a paper statement. If you can, opt for an email option and save the cash.
Cable Device Fees
Cable and satellite companies love to charge fees. One of the worst offenders is the set top box fee, that is usually $10 to $15 a month, per TV.
You don’t pay that fee with streaming apps. Find a live TV streaming service that has the channels you watch and pocket the savings.
Phone companies, and others, love to charge activation fees. With the cell phone example this often comes with signing a two-year contract.
If they’re locking you into a contract, there’s no need to pay this fee. Select a no-contract provider instead and avoid the fee, not to mention getting a lower monthly bill.
Overdraft protection seems like a great way to safeguard against bouncing a check. That protection comes at a cost. You don’t want to pay $35, or more, to cover an overdraft of a dollar or two.
Opt out of this coverage and ask if you can link your savings account to your checking. If not possible, the worst case scenario is a transaction is denied when you use your debit card.
How to Multiply Your Money
Get-rich-schemes are typically scams. However, there are ways to truly grow your wealth. While not flashy, they can help you build real wealth.
101 Ways to Make Money on the Side
There are countless side hustle ideas you can pursue. Not everyone will be a good fit for you. Here’s an exhaustive list of options to make extra money on the side.
7 Steps to Break the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle
Making ends meet is hard on a limited income. However, it is possible to break the cycle and find financial stability. You just need to know where to start.
Best Prepaid Phone Plans
Legacy carriers trick us into thinking we need a contract to get what we need. That’s a lie. A prepaid phone plan can give you the data you want for significantly less.
Get Cash Back on Your Gas Purchases
It’s painful to fill up at the pump. Thankfully, there’s an app for that! With Upside you can get rebates on your gas purchases that you can redeem for cash.