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| Education and Financial

08/09/14

Fee the people: Why extra charges are killing your budget

One aspect of your budget that continually plagues you might have nothing to do with overspending or not making enough money to suffice your expenses. While those are paramount to putting debt and bad credit behind you, often the little fees slowly chip away at your checking and savings account to the point that you're losing hundreds or even thousands every year.
The problem is these fees are so small and nominal that you often overlook them for larger issues when it comes to financial security. People want to save money so they trade in their car for something less expensive and a lower payment. When the mortgage becomes too much to handle, they sell their home in exchange for a lower monthly charge, perhaps a smaller house or even renting this time around for now.
Cable bills, cell phone plans and less money spent on extracurricular activities, including spending money eating at restaurants become trigger points for consumers and customers alike to start getting their budget back on track.
But overlooking the small, so called inconsequential charges from such things as ATM machines or cable or cell phone companies could easily save you money with little or no effort. All it really takes is a little common sense and actually paying attention to the bill you're receiving in the mail, rather than just blindly whipping out your checkbook and paying regardless.
The ATM fee is a real downer for a number of reasons. If you have a particular bank, make sure you use their ATM machine rather than one that isn't part of your banking network. ATM fees can cost as much as $3 for every withdraw, which might not seem like much until you figure that you might do that about a 100 or 150 times per month, costing you as much as $500 a year on something that literally could be free if you plan out your route a little better during the day and pass by your bank when you want to take out money.

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Cable companies also love to promise triple play and bundle deals for $150, only to send you a bill for $250. Of course, taxes and fees play into that but you have to consider if you're renting equipment from them or if you've chosen to buy your own. If you're renting a modem, for example, for $10 per month, that's $120 a year for a device that you can buy for $50, a one time fee. Doesn't take an accounting genius to figure out that works much better.
So whether you're banking woes have your finances and ability to save money falling short or if the cable or cell phone providers are proving too shifty and savvy, you have to really be mindful of the smaller charges that are just as costly as the larger ones.

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