Bank fees are a nuisance.
Most of us have encountered them at one time or another. Whether it’s that late-night ATM fee that overdraws your account, or the $12 “monthly maintenance” fee you notice while perusing your online banking. When fees hit it’s hard to walk away without feeling frustrated.
The most dangerous bank fee of all is an NSF fee.
NSF fees (insufficient funds) are those irritating fees associated with not having enough money to withdraw or maintain a certain balance in your bank account. They could be the most expensive fees you ever encounter, but thankfully it’s easy to steer clear of them.
The best thing you can do to avoid banking fees is to always be present in managing your accounts. Here are some simple tips to keep you far, far away from unnecessary banking fees like NSF fees:
1. Set up automatic payments
Whenever possible, set up automatic payments for your regularly occurring bills. The payments will be withdrawn from your checking account for loans, utilities, insurance, credit cards, and any other monthly bills you may have. You can set up exactly which date the money leaves your account, meaning you’ll be able to plan ahead and track the funds going in and out of your account.
2. Stay on top of your check register
Record all checks, ATM, and debit card transactions. Be sure to capture every small fee and transaction. When you have a clear picture of what’s in your account, you’re less likely to overdraw or go under your required balance.
3. Cushion your account
Overdrawing by even a few cents may not seem like an issue, but in reality it can bring about some substantial unexpected fees. If possible, start adding a small cushion of cash to your account. Whether it’s $50 or $100, hold onto this amount as the months go by.
4. Sign up for alerts
Many banks provide online, text or call alerts to let you know when your account is below a certain amount. These alerts will prompt you to add cash to your account or slow your spending, so you’ll never be in danger of being hit with an NSF fee.
5. Avoid using debit cards for small purchases
A $2 charge for a snack or coffee may not seem like much in the moment, but all those snack breaks can add up quickly. Additionally, all of those small charges are difficult to keep track of and can make balancing your account more tedious than it needs to be.
In addition to NSF fees, you could find your money disappearing because of account maintenance fees, fees for using an out-of-network ATM, fees for not taking a paper statement, fees for not maintaining a minimum balance, or fees associated with bounced checks. If your account is in need of some budgeting help, check out our blogs on Free Budgeting Tools, or 3 Steps to Get Back to Your Monthly Budget.
This post was written by Jackson Wise of Kasasa. Earn cash rewards with Kasasa Checking. #AskForKasasa