How You Can Leave Bank Fees Behind Forever in 2022

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It is entirely possible to avoid paying unnecessary fees to your financial institution.

Key points

  • Bank charges can be expensive.
  • Some banks charge fees for many different things, including just maintaining an account.
  • You can avoid bank charges entirely if you know where and how you bank.

Bank charges are an unnecessary cost that can really strain your budget, especially if you incur a lot of them.

If you are currently paying fees to your financial institution, you may be able to end this unpleasant practice forever and make 2022 the year you stop enriching your bank and start improving your own financial life.

So how do you permanently get rid of bank charges this year? Just follow these four simple tips.

1. Review the fees you pay

If you want to say goodbye to fees forever, it helps to first assess the fees you’re currently paying and need to eliminate. You should review your bank statements from the past few months and be on the lookout for some common charges, including:

  • Overdraft fees
  • NSF check fees
  • ATM fees
  • Monthly account fees
  • Fees for paper statements
  • Fees for exceeding a minimum balance cap

Make a list of the different fees your bank charges you so you can come up with a comprehensive plan to get rid of those unnecessary costs for good in 2022.

2. Consider switching banks

Sometimes the easiest way to eliminate bank fees is not to change your habits, but rather to switch banks. For example, if you are charged ATM fees, you can agree to only withdraw cash at your bank branch where you will not be charged.

But it can be a real headache. Instead of altering your life to avoid these unnecessary fees, it may be easier to simply switch to an account at a bank that does not charge fees for ATM withdrawals. Better yet, try to find one that reimburses you for some of the fees charged by other banks.

Switching to a bank that does not charge the fees you are currently obligated to pay ensures that you will never have to incur those fees again.

3. Build a financial cushion in your bank account

If you often find yourself faced with overdraft fees or NSF check fees, it can be difficult to find a bank that doesn’t charge you for these behaviors, although it is 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 whatever you can afford, and count that as your “$0” balance, you don’t let your account fall below that. If you maintain this financial cushion, you’re much less likely to make a mistake and spend money you don’t have, which will cost you less in fees.

Of course, it can be hard to find that extra cash to keep as a cushion in your financial account, especially if you live paycheck to paycheck. Using part of your tax refund for this purpose, however, can be a good decision, and many people will soon receive money from the IRS that they can deposit in their accounts.

4. Always read the fine print

Finally, whether you’re changing banks or sticking with the old one, be sure to 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 exceeds a certain level. Make sure you know how your “balance” is calculated for these purposes. Do not assume that you will be able to avoid the fee if you have the required amount at the end of the month, as the bank can use your average daily balance to decide whether you are charged a fee.

By reading the fine print, finding the right bank, and leaving some extra cash in your bank account, we hope you can say goodbye to bank fees forever.

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