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Don't let banking fees go unnoticed

Scanning through your checking account can be particularly challenging in late-December. Between holiday gifts, trips home and anything else that may come up during this crazy (and expensive) time of year, it's easy to overlook a small charge amongst perhaps dozens.

And yet, as I perused through my account the other day, a nondescript and completely infuriating charge caught my eye: "$8.00 - Monthly Fee"

Um... what?

Few fees are more irksome than the ones that go virtually unexplained. (I'm looking at you, Ticketmaster.) And since there was no description or link associated with this monthly fee, my curiosity got the best of me and I gave my bank a call.

As it turned out, the monthly fee I was charged was in relation to the number of transfers I had made over the course of the month. Unbeknownst to me, there is a finite number of transfers one can make each month, and apparently I had gone over my limit.

To my bank's credit, they waived this fee and gave me the banker's equivalent of a slap on the wrist (and even "slap" seems harsh). But imagine how many small charges like this go unnoticed or unresolved since, let's face it, $8 isn't a crazy amount of money? 

These days, there are a lot of fees attached to your big bank account. (And yes, my aforementioned bank is "BIG".) Luckily, there are also a TON of other banks and credit unions, big and small, vying for your buck(s). So, with competition comes choice, which means if you start seeing these fees add up at your expense with no real explanation, then it could be time to make a change when it comes to where you do your banking.

Seriously - you don't have to just "accept" banking fees. There are plenty of establishments that will gladly take (care of) your money at almost no additional expense to you. It's up to you to take notice - and take action - when it comes to banking fees.

on Wed, 2013-01-02 14:56