You may have heard these before, but I’m being extra cautious this holiday season to make sure that I’m not accidentally paying for something that there is no reason to pay for.
Here is my list of things I learned not to pay for!
If you ever have to pay ATM fees, CHANGE BANKS! There are many banks out there that no longer charge ATM fees, and will even refund you fees paid for other ATM systems. Two examples are USAA and Charles Schwab.
If you’re still paying for ATM fees, it’s time to shop for a new bank.
Looking for a good restaurant? Dial 1-800-411 instead. It will save you that small charge each time.
First…stop overdrafting your account. Second, get a bank that offers free overdraft protection (See USAA and Charles Schwab above!). Third, if you can’t change banks, opt out, and STOP OVERDRAFTING!
Check out our options for the best free checking accounts.
Annual Credit Card Fees
There are some many great credit cards out there that don’t charge annual fees and offer great rewards, that there is absolutely no reason to pay an annual fee. Please, someone explain to me why you would want to pay this fee! If you want to change credit cards, check out my post on Finding the Best Credit Card.
So, you are starting a service, a service you are already paying for. Why would you pay more to activate this service? Cell phones are the best example. You usually must sign a 2 year contract, but then they try to make you pay an activation fee. Ask the clerk to waive it. They will 90% of the time. If they don’t walk, go to the next closest cell phone store, there will usually be a clerk that needs a sale who will gladly waive it.
I am a believer in these – sometimes. I don’t think that you should pay if it costs more than 20% of the purchase price, and I think that you should be fully aware of what the original manufacturers warranty covers, if anything. I have had some very good experiences with extended warranties, especially with my previous used car. I bought the 100,000 bumper to bumper warranty, and it cost $1,200 when I bought the car. It lasted me until the car had 130,000 miles, and I had so many things replaced, I would have easily dumped $5,000-$6,000 in for the necessities, and probably would have never fixed that pesky passenger window switch. But the warranty covered it all. However, a lot of people advise against these, especially at retail stores.
Does anyone have any other fees they learned to avoid?
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.