A positive relationship with money is extremely important in today’s complex world of personal finance. In many respects, money is becoming more and more abstract at a time of direct debits and paperless billing.
Dealing with money in a positive way will pay off. A good place to start is by examining the full range of bank fees that may apply…and how to avoid them. Here are some practical tips.
1. Make sure monthly repayments reach their destination on time – not doing so can be really expensive and can add up quickly.
2. Stop paying by cheque – Government wants to phase out cheques and hefty charges apply each time they need to be processed for payment.
3. Keep sufficient balances in your account – many bank now require customers to keep substantial amounts of money with their bank account in order to avoid paying hefty monthly or quarterly fees. So, it might be a good time to consolidate several smaller bank accounts (if you have them) into one main account where you wish to avoid fees.
4. Forget loyalty and be prepared to switch – keep an eye of competing offers from rival banks where better deals on fees and charges may still be available.
5. Avoid unnecessary queries – are you aware that banks charge customers for answering queries in relation to ‘non-routine service requiring significant time by branch staff’, which can cost a bundle per hour. There are even charges for data protection queries, so look out!
6. Avoid expensive ATM withdrawal fees when abroad – these can really add up outside of the currency area so you may want to consider availing of pre-loaded foreign currency cards as a way of getting around them.
7. Avoid your bank account going into the red – banks charge a bundle when accounts dip into the red and costs will continue to mount if your account remains there. This is one sure way to lose money.
8. Keep good records – banks really know how to charge when it comes to providing duplicate copies of documents you already have, so try avoid losing them, in the end, it will be your personal account that will take the hit.
9. Don’t lose your plastic – it’ really expensive to get a replacement card (never mind the hassle of filling out all those forms) so be careful…you’ll get your replacement card but you’ll lose out financially.
10. Don’t lose your PIN – this can sometimes happen to those with even the best memories, especially following a new card being issued. Point here is to ensure you log your PIN in a safe place because if you don’t, the bank will make a bee-line for your cash just to issue you with a new one.
Copyright: Irish Financial Review.
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