How You Can Leave Bank Fees Behind Forever in 2022
- Bank fees can be expensive.
- Some banks charge fees for many different things, including simply maintaining an account.
- You can avoid bank fees entirely if you're smart about where and how you bank.
It really is possible not to pay unnecessary fees to your financial institution.
Bank fees are an unnecessary cost that can really eat into your budget -- especially if you get hit with a lot of them.
If you're currently paying fees to your financial institution, you may be able to put an end to this unpleasant practice forever and make 2022 the year when you stop enriching your bank and start improving your own financial life.
So, how can you get rid of bank fees for good this year? Just follow these four simple tips.
1. Review the fees you're paying
If you want to say goodbye to fees forever, it's helpful to first assess what fees you are currently paying and need to eliminate. You should look back over your bank statements for the past several months and be on the lookout for some common fees, including:
- Overdraft fees
- Bounced check fees
- ATM fees
- Monthly account maintenance fees
- Fees for paper statements
- Fees for falling below a minimum balance limit
Make a list of the different charges your bank is imposing on you so you can develop a comprehensive plan for getting rid of these unnecessary costs for good in 2022.
2. Consider switching to a different bank
Sometimes, the easiest way to eliminate bank fees isn't to change your habits, but instead is to change your bank. For example, if you're being charged ATM fees, you could commit to taking money out only at your bank branch where you won't be charged.
But this can be a real hassle. Instead of altering your life to avoid this unnecessary cost, it can be easier to simply switch to an account at a bank that doesn't charge fees for withdrawals at ATMs. Even better, try to find one that reimburses you for some of the fees other banks impose.
Switching banks to one that doesn't charge the fees you're currently stuck paying ensures you won't ever have to incur these costs again.
3. Build a financial cushion in your bank account
If you often find yourself facing overdraft fees or fees for bouncing checks, it may be hard to find a bank that doesn't charge you for these behaviors -- although it's not impossible.
In these circumstances, you may want to commit to keeping a certain amount of money in your account. In other words, start with a base balance of $250 or $500 or however much you can afford, and treat that as your "$0" balance you don't let your account fall below. If you maintain this financial cushion, you're far less likely to make a mistake and spend money you don't have, thus costing yourself less in fees.
Of course, it can be a challenge to find this extra money to keep as a cushion in your financial account -- especially if you're living paycheck to paycheck. Using some of your tax refund for this purpose can be a good move, though, and many people will soon be getting money back from the IRS that they can deposit into their accounts.
4. Always read the fine print
Finally, whether you're switching banks or sticking with your old one, make sure you read the fine print to understand the details of when you'll be charged a fee.
For example, some banks will waive account maintenance fees if your balance is above a certain level. Be sure you know how your "balance" is calculated for these purposes. Don't assume you'll be able to avoid fees if you have the requisite amount at the end of the month, as the bank may use your average daily balance to decide if you're charged a fee.
By reading the fine print, finding the right bank, and leaving a little extra cash in your bank account, hopefully you can say goodbye to bank fees forever.
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