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Home / Debt / 4 Everyday Fees That May Be Keeping You In Debt


We face fees nearly everyday of our life. Some are unavoidable, while others are probably dragging on your ability to pay off debt or save money. Those are the fees that we all need to avoid or eliminate from our lives.

Bank Fees

Financial institutions made an amazing $32 billion from overdraft fees in 2012. On average, banks collected $225 per overdrawn account. Unless you have an extra $225 to donate to your bank, you need to avoid these fees. At the very least you should shop around for a bank with the lowest possible overdraft fee. We have more stats about how much money banks made through overdraft fees at this link.

Some institutions have small fees associated with their checking and savings accounts. These can be minimum balance fees, a fee per check written, or account maintenance fees. All of these can be avoided through direct deposit or by shopping around for a bank that does not charge these fees.

ATM Fees

If you use an ATM that is not in your banks network, you can incur two fees. One from your bank and another from the bank that owns the ATM. You could pay $5 or more just to access your money. This fee can be avoid with some planning. You need to know where your bank’s ATMs are. Carry cash if you will not have access to these ATMs, or if need be, get cash back from a store clerk during checkout.

Third-Party Cell Charges

Do you click ads or buy ringtones? Many of the things that you do on your phone can carry a third-party charge that you may not be fully aware of unless you carefully read some fine print. You will need to carefully check your phone bill each month. If you notice any unusual charges, contact your carrier right away cancel them.

Under the category of phone related fees, there are also roaming fees and data charges. Do you really need to Google something without a wi-fi connection? Why are you getting directions through your phone? You can avoid the majority of these fees by planning ahead and being aware of your usage.

Credit Card Fees

Credit card fees have been diminishing over the last few years, but they are not gone. The most obvious ones are late fees and over-the-limit fees, but they are not the only ones you may be subject to. Is there an annual fee for your account? Do you have to pay foreign transaction fees? If it is a secured card, do you have to pay a fee to deposit more money into your account? All of these fees can be avoided searching for a different card.

Many of the fees that are depleting our wallets and savings accounts can be avoided. Some through shopping around and others by planning ahead. Is there another everyday fee that you have learned to avoid. If so, tell us about it in the comments section.


About the author: Jerry Coffey


Jerry Coffey spent many years in a debt-riddled gray area somewhere between broke and desperately broke. His seemingly endless need for more and more cash led him to payday loans, repossessions, bankruptcy, and depression. After years of the same financial style, he heard a piece of advice that inspired him to find a way to change. The advice: ''The very definition of a fool is someone who continues to do the same things, but expects different results.'' This led him to a much more frugal lifestyle that sees all of his bills paid on time and a growing savings account. Even the seed of a retirement account has begun to sprout.


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  1. Hidden bank fees are an all too true reality. That’s why you should keep your money with a credit union.

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