Home > Mom's Life > Family Finances > Saving Tips > Savings Quick Tips: Don't Pay Anyone to Hold Your Money
|

Savings Quick Tips: Don't Pay Anyone to Hold Your Money

In This Article:

Page 1

Where competition thrives, consumers win. The banking industry has more competition than ever with the introduction of online banks. So, you don't have to put up with overpaying for checking and savings accounts.

The main idea is to remember that you're giving them the privilege of holding your money, so it's up to the bank to sell itself to you.

Still, banks today are nickel-and-diming their customers with ever-increasing fees. The average ATM fee is $1.64, with 98.3 percent of all banks charging such a fee, according to a survey by Bankrate.com. The table below shows how ATM fees have risen. If you want interest on your checking account, you might have to shell out an average of about $11 per month and maintain a balance of $615, on average. The average bounced check fee is more than $27.

ATM Fees Rising
Year Fee
1998 $0.89
1999 $1.12
2000 $1.33
2001 $1.36
2002 $1.38
2003 $1.40
2004 $1.37
2005 $1.54
2006 $1.64
Source: Bankrate.com

All those fees could easily devour any meager interest you earn on checking and savings accounts. They could essentially force you to pay the bank for using your own money, a losing proposition.

Here are tips to avoid unnecessary bank fees:

  • Shop around. You want a bank account that fits your needs and doesn't charge fees. For example, if you work in a job that pays in tips, you may need unlimited access to tellers to sort through your deposits of bills and coins. But if you do your banking online and at ATMs, investigate what perks a bank will give you for forgoing teller visits, an expensive service for banks to provide.
  • Find free checking. There are enough competing banks that you should insist on free checking, with unlimited check writing, no minimum balances, and no monthly service fees, whether a flat fee or based on the number of checks you write. Even better is an interest-bearing checking account. But if you keep getting zapped with low-balance fees, shift money into a free checking account. The scant interest the accounts pay isn't worth even a few low-balance penalties.
  • Order your own checks. Of course, free checking isn't free because you have to buy the checks. But you don't have to buy them from your bank for up to $25 per box. Other companies will print checks at a fraction of the price, often $6 to $8 for a box of 200 checks. They work just as well. Check out deals from Wal-Mart, www.walmartchecks.com, for example. For more choices in background designs, search the Internet for "check printing" and find such sites as www.checksinthemail.com, www.checkworks.com, and www.checksunlimited.com.


  • Next: Page 2 >>

    More on: Family Finances

    |

    From Living Rich by Spending Smart Copyright © 2008, FT Press. Used by permission of FT Press, and Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

    To order this book go to Amazon.


    stay connected

    Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

    Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

    Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

    editor’s picks

    thanksgiving crafts & recipes

    Make this Turkey
    Day fun for the
    whole family with
    these essentials.

    GO

    highlights

    3 Fun Thanksgiving Games for Kids
    Looking for some great Thanksgiving games to play with your kids? Print our free Pin the Feathers on the Turkey game, Pin the Hat on the Pilgrim game, and Thanksgiving Parade Bingo game for loads of laughs this Turkey Day!

    Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
    Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

    Top Family Movies in Theaters for the Holidays
    Taking the kids to the movies is a special family treat for the holidays! Don't miss 2014's best family films in theaters from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

    Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
    Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!