What’s worse than paying fees that cost you a dollar here or two dollars there or more? It’s constantly shelling out that money and getting nothing for it. It takes discipline and vigilance to spot and eliminate fees for things you no longer need or perhaps never did.
- Tracking your spending in your bank and credit accounts is the best way to spot useless fees. If you don’t keep up with it, you’re probably wasting more money than you realize.
- Many useless fees are quite obvious, however, starting with credit card interest, which now averages around 16%. Some store credit cards may go as high as 30%!
- Another useless fee is the one you pay at out-of-network ATMs. The average is now nearly $5. That’s a lot to pay for a little convenience.
- Next, you should never pay for a credit report. You’re entitled to a free report every year from each of the three credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. You can get them at AnnualCreditReport.com.
- Late payment fees. These not only cost you extra money now, but also can damage your credit for years and result in higher interest rates.
- Checking account fees. Look for a bank that offers free checking with no minimum balance—they’re out there. Many credit unions have that option, as well. Overdraft fees will cost you a bundle, too. You can probably opt out of them with your bank.
- You may also be able to eliminate many shipping fees. If you order from Amazon, you can save money with their Prime option.
- Convenience fees are also something you can eliminate with a little planning. These are when you buy something and the clerk tells you there’s a minimum charge to use a credit card or debit card. Just say no.
- Unused subscriptions are another money waster. These aren’t for magazines that you don’t read but for streaming services or other things that you signed up for online.
- Check out getting an Amazon Prime membership to eliminate shipping costs. Also look for coupons and promo codes
for free shipping. To transfer money without a fee, see Venmo, Cash App and Google Pay.
On this program we also answer a few of your questions:
- Is giving to a friend in need the same as tithing to the church?
- What do you think about putting some of my checking account money—I have about $20,000—into a high-yield savings account?
- How will taking on 2 or 3 credit cards (but not using them) affect my credit score?
Remember, you can call in to ask your questions 24/7 at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can listen to past programs, connect with a MoneyWise Coach, and even download free, helpful resources like the free MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook at MoneyWise Media for the very latest discussion! And remember that it’s your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking the Donate tab on our website or in our app.