Click here to read all of the 33 Days And 33 Ways To Save Money And Reduce Debt posts.
Day 1 : Eliminate Fees
Check your last bank statement.Â Are you paying an account maintenance fee?Â How about ATM-related fees?Â Are you paying for banking services that you aren’t using?Â Do you have a savings account with a minimum-balance requirement?Â Are you paying too much for checks?
Take a second look at your phone bill.Â Do you see any features that you no longer use?Â How about a calling-card fee for a calling-card that you don’t need?Â Could you do without some of those features?Â Be sure to check your phone bill every month, to verify that you are being charged for legitimate services.
Grab that latest copy of your cable or satellite bill.Â Do you really need all of those channels?Â Could you switch companies and save some money?Â Have you considered eliminating the television all together.
You get the picture.Â Review all of you bills, all of your accounts, all of your financial relationships, and look for those not-so-hidden fees that are eating away at your bottom line.Â Need some math to back up this tip?Â Check this:
$25 in hidden fees, per month, equals $300 per year.
$300 per year, invested at 10% for 40 years, equals $159,420.
Yep, you just read that correctly.Â So, start combing through that stack of old bills and eliminate as many fees as you can.
If you have suggestions for how folks can eliminate fees, leave a comment.Â If you are a blogger, write a post about eliminating fees and contact me.Â I’ll be more than happy to link to your post.
Resource associated with this tip:
Click here for the online Savings Calculator that I used to calculate how much you could save if you invested this money instead of spending it.Â (I used $25 per month, invested for 40 years at 10%, compounded monthly.)
Click here to read all of the 33 Days And 33 Ways To Save Money And Reduce Debt posts
9 thoughts on “Day 1 Of 33 Days And 33 Ways To Save Money And Reduce Debt : Eliminate Fees”
I would add that you can call customer service at credit card companies and ask them to remove your annual fees (if you have any). I was able to do that a few days ago and it will save me about $60.
We reduced our DirecTV monthly cost from
$72 a month to $52 a month by simply calling
them up and asking (I had a cable offer in
hand to use as support for my request). That
is a $240 savings over the course of a year with
no change in services.
We also consolidated our cell phones/home phone
DSL into a ‘bundle’ and by doing our combined
cell phone bills went from $100 a month to $50
a month (we now share a plan and minutes) that
is a savings of $600 a month – again with no
change in level of services.
I reduced or better yet eliminated a late fee on my AMEX card that was continuing to be charged interest. I transferred a balance onto the AMEX at a fixed 2.995 for life back in 2005. Some time in Feb 2006 I was late with a payment and they charged me a late fee. Okay, I call explain I didn’t realize my payment was late and understood the late fee and no change in my interest rate. Well, last night I am looking at the 2006 end of year summary and see this $35 fee. I call and ask if AMEX Blue Cash has a yearly fee, it does not and we discover it was a late fee from 2006. Ok but it should be removed because it is still being charged interest at 13.84% purchase rate…Anyway, the representative was super helpful and now I should have a credit for $42.60 and if it’s not reflected on the next statemesnt she told to call back and they would take care it again. Very cool customer service…:-)
I take a different approach to fee elimination. I don’t eliminate the fee from a company, I eliminate the company. For years, long before I discovered the PF community on the net, my reaction to what I felt were unjustified fees was to locate another company that doesn’t do that, and switch my business to them. I never bothered calling the companies on these because I figured if they were sleazy enough to charge these to begin with, they would try some other way to get “their” excess money back.
I make the distinction between excess fees and getting rate reductions. I’ve done the rate reductions with my local HSI provider. I have a hard limit that I will not pass for cost of internet service, at one cent past the limit, I start making phone calls. So far I’ve been able to keep below my limit with my local cable company. The last time my rate had just gone up when they called to sell me phone service, I wound up getting transferred to retention and getting back below my limit for a year. They didn’t sell me phone service as their promotional offer was more expensive and less functional than my present service. The regular rate must be terrifying.
Look into credit unions. They usually PAY interest on checking accounts no matter your balance, have better CD rates, and most rebate a portion of the ATM charges you incur (up to a certain dollar amount monthly.). Plus free online bill paying and free (plain ol’ safety pattern) checks.
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