Who’s Robbing Your Bank?
Where’s the safest place to keep your hard earned money? Most of us take our money straight to the bank, so it will be available when we need it. We hope that while it’s sitting in the bank, it will accumulate interest and earn even more money for us. We trust that our money is well taken care of, and that the bank will do it’s part to keep our money safe…
But what happens when bank robberies occur? I’m not talking about masked bandits stealing money out of a vault. I’m talking about when the banks turn against us and start robbing us for the money we trust in their care.
As new rules (such as the credit card protection act) force financial institutions to limit consumer fees, banks are spitefully raising fees in other areas to make up the difference. Banks assume that you’re not paying attention to your monthly statements. They assume that they can treat their existing customers any type of way, because you’re too busy to shop around for other options. Banks assume that they can charge additional fees that will go unnoticed and uncontested. And, for the most part… the banks are right. Most of us don’t even realize that our bank accounts are lower than they should be…at no fault of our own.
Pay attention to your money! Do not allow yourself to get robbed by your bank. The FDIC recently published a consumer news story that warns consumers to monitor their bank statements, to investigate any new and unusual fees, and to shop around for the best value for your banking needs.
As banks change their policies, and invent new ways to take more of your money, here are four ways to minimize your bank fees:
1. Comparison shop so you don’t pay more than you have to. If your bank doesn’t offer free checking, find one that does. If you’re bank charges hefty fees, take your money elsewhere.
2. Monitor all communications from your bank. Protect yourself against unexpected costs by opening up every email and letter that your bank sends to you. Stay alert, so you can immediately call and inquire when something doesn’t look right.
3. Explore overdraft protection services. Banks make tons of money by charging costly overdraft fees. Monitor your funds to make sure you don’t get hit with this unnecessary fee. You can also set up automatic transfers from your other accounts when money is low.
4. Limit ATM fees. Get cash directly from your own bank or an affiliated ATM. Doing so will help you avoid paying two fees- one to your bank, and to the other bank for using its ATM.
For more on how to efficiently manage checking and savings accounts, visit the FDIC Web page.