Now, I know this is my money, but I wouldn't have "saved" it otherwise. Just being in a separate account keeps me from spending it. And I don't seem to miss it from my checking account. Sometimes I really do need to get into that money, but it starts rebuilding right away. I love seeing it mount up and in a strange, but lucrative way, I spend money to save money. See if you can find a bank that offers this service. For whatever reason, this seems to help me a lot and I'm very glad I have this.
By Sharon from Silver Spring, MD
They reversed the bank and the merchant's overdraft fees which totaled $61. We then added overdraft protection (no charge) which will transfer $50 increments from her savings account in the event of a future accidental overdraft.
Our bank graciously extended this to us because we have never had an overdraft and it was to keep a long term customer happy. When an unexpected event occurs, ask the bank to reverse the charges. You may be pleasantly surprised at the willingness to help you out.
By skibum1910 from Prospect, KY
By Linda from Vista, CA
To prevent this, we started withdrawing a set amount of cash on the weekend and put it in an envelope. This is our "daily cash fund". If either of us needs money for small purchases during the week, we take it from there instead of reaching for the debit card. This way we know exactly how much was taken out of the bank and "saves" us money that used to be wasted in overdraft fees.
By perfumed fan
By Becki in Indiana
By Carol in PA
Do you have any more ideas to share for saving money on banking fees? Feel free to post them below.
I then upload my paycheck to the Walmart reloadable ATM/Visa card, which only allows me to spend what I have put on there, no more, no less. This way I keep within my budget and don't overdraw my card. This has saved me so much money over the last few months!
By Dorsi from Fremont, CA
I was just told "keep better records" and I am becoming increasingly aware that the online balance is only approximate (and computerized banking practices seem to have changed in favor of the bank and getting fees) so I will be much more careful in the future!
By Becki from Logansport, IN
Another minor inconvenience of the credit union is the request to withdraw money. Large withdraws often take longer to process, and the limit of cash withdraws at the window are often lower than those of typical banks.
Think about this: There is a craft fair in town. Knowing I will need about $30, I withdraw $40 from the ATM. At the end of the day I head for home thinking I found real bargains at the fair. In reality, I started the day spending $10 more than I had to simply by taking my money from the ATM. Because most ATMs give no other choice than to withdraw in the amounts of twenty, people are forced to take more money from their bank accounts than they need to do.
While the limitations of what a person can withdraw from the ATM is often an inconvenience, what is more of an inconvenience is banking the old fashioned way. While many banks attempt to offer convenient hours, some even opening on Sundays, varied work schedules make banking before the close of day a priority.
ATMs allow quick access to not only withdraw money but to deposit it as well, and they're conveniently located everywhere. If a person can restrain him/herself from spending the extra cash that is withdrawn from the bank account every time the ATM is used, then the machines offer a convenience that can't be beaten.
Follow these simple steps and the benefits of the ATM will outweigh its faults.
For example, if you borrow $1,000 with a 3% balance transfer fee, six months at 0% interest, and a default 18% balance transfer APR then over the course of a year the transfer will have nearly a 12% effective APR for that first year. Beyond that, you are paying 18% on that debt.
To help keep track of internet banking, I keep a special page in my agenda dedicated to all my banking transactions done online; date, which account, amount, and the reference number. That way I don't need to print them out and have it right beside me ready to use. It does not reveal any pin numbers or full account numbers and so is safe in that regard.
By Bellevillelady from Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Editor's Note: Do you have any tips and tricks for keeping track of online banking and bill pay? Post your advice here.
When I receive my email informing me my new bill is ready to view and pay, I save that email in a mail folder named "bills due". Once I pay it, I put it into a "bills paid" folder which then gets deleted when the new bill for that company comes in. Also, my confirmation numbers to the paid transaction simply get recorded right under the entry in my checkbook.
Pat V in Roseville, MI
Have any ThriftyFun members had good luck with online banking? I'm thinking about enrolling in Bank of America's online bill payment service but have heard some horror stories about it not being safe (not necessarily BofA but any bank). Thanks for any feedback you can give me.
Lynn from Calif.
Go for it! (01/29/2005)
Example, I received a Dr. bill in the mail today. I have already scheduled it to be paid on the 4th of February. I mark the bill paid, and the part of the bill that I would normally pay with payment, I put in a basket on my desk marked Payment pending and mark it with the date the payment is scheduled. Once the payment shows on my account, I shred that part. It saves me time, postage and the worry that perhaps my creditor will decide to take an automatic payment out before my money is deposited in the bank. Sure would be upsetting to pay a $25 overdraft fee on a $10 payment (01/30/2005)
Another benefit to online banking is if you use a debit card, transactions are posted right away and you can view your transactions online, so there is no need to record everything in a check register. We only record checks since they don't go through right away. One important tip though-- always go directly to the bank's website to enter any information, even if you receive an email that appears to be from your online bank. Sometimes this is spam and you don't want to give away your account information to strangers. The real online bank sites, however, are very safe-- your account information is kept secure.
By Ann in CA.
By Tammy in Bakersfield
I like the fact that I can actually view the checks that I do write and that every on line payment that I make gives you a confirmation number.
It sure does help me out when the weather is bad and I can't get to the bank or post office or when I just don't feel like getting in the car and traveling.
I highly recommend it! (01/31/2005)
By Colleen in Canada
One thing that my computer expert son just showed me, that was after you leave the banking site, ALWAYS click on the Sign Out Button, don't just close the window. Also you should click on the Tools at the top, click on Internet Options and a box will come up that will allow you to delete all cookies and history etc. of your recent travels. He said this was as very important security measure to do every time you go to your banking site. Then there will be no evidence hanging around of your banking activities. (03/23/2005)
Further there is no way one can see what payments are outstanding, i.e., not withdrawn from our accounts forcing customers to write down payments into my check register like the old days.
We should have been given the option to either opt for the new method or stay with the old one. I preferred the old one as I don't normally write paper checks and could always go online to check my balances. Now I really don't have a clear idea as I didn't write down my payments in my check register assuming all bases were covered by BOA.
If this change was instituted to obtain over limit fees, I suspect that is what it will do because now we are back to square one, just like writing checks and keeping track of them. I see no other recourse than to look for a new form of online payment. It is sad because I used to brag about how good this service was; now it's the opposite.
Further to this, this change has taken the simple task of paying bills and returned it to the dark ages of writing down our online bill payments in a check register and balancing checkbooks again. Argh! (02/17/2006)