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Monday, December 16, 2013

How to Avoid ATM Fees for the rest of your life!

I Don't Like Fees

I really don't like paying fees, especially when I can help it. I find that it's simply pouring money into a drain. Some of you don't really think about this. I know because I talk to some of you on a daily basis and I see it. Recently I talked to a young man who had been taking multiple $20 withdrawals from ATM's that don't belong to his bank. He pays his bank a $2.50 fee and the other bank that owns the ATM a $2.50 fee for each withdrawal. That is paying $5 on average to take money out of an ATM. $5 out of $20 is a 25% fee!

And yet I see people do this multiple times a month, month after month. This young man paid $60 in ATM fees in three months. It's ridiculous! Now before you go blaming the banks for being greedy let's take a moment to realize that SOMEONE has to pay for those machines and repair them and stock them, etc. But it doesn't have to be you paying them to do it. Let's talk about how...

How To Avoid ATM Fees

So here are the secrets of success when it comes to avoiding ATM Fees. It's actually very simple. Don't use a Non-YourBankHere ATM. Sounds simple right? OK, maybe not. You're out and about, realize you need cash for that thing you are doing later and you don't see and branches for your bank in sight. Before you go running to the ATM nearest you, here are some things to consider.

  1. Know Your Fees. Every bank, by law, has a fees and rates disclosure. Every bank has disclosures telling you any possible fee you could ever pay before you pay it. If you read through these you will find out what they are and avoid them. There really aren't any surprises unless you failed to read through the contract you agreed to. This Fees Disclosure makes it plain as day what fees you could pay, be familiar with them and make note of the ones that are likely to affect you. 
    1.  ChaseWells Fargo, Bank of America, all of them must have a disclosure telling you every possible fee you could pay.
    2. Some banks reverse the fee you paid them, some reverse the fee you paid the other bank, most don't. If you have that arrangement find out the parameters. You may find it's only the first 1 or 2 or 4 per month. 
  2. Use Your Bank's ATM. You bank probably isn't that far. Most people own a smart phone now days, or know someone who has one with you. If your bank has an ATM a mile out of your way, go there, take the extra minute, don't pay $5 to take $20 out! 
  3. Cash Back. What if I told you that you could pay $1.69 or even $0.68 to take your money out and you'd get a prize for doing it? 
    1. Nearly all of the Grocery Stores, Walmarts, Targets, and Gas Station Convenience stores in the United States offer "Cash Back". Rather than pay $5 and get nothing for it, pay $1.69 for a Dr Pepper and then when the machine asks Debit or Credit hit "Debit", enter you PIN, and request Cash Back "Yes". Now you paid $1.69 to take money instead of $5, you saved $3.31 and you got a Dr Pepper for it! Sometimes you just have to break down what you are really doing to yourself in basic math to see how silly it is. 
  4. More is Less. If you absolutely must use an ATM that doesn't belong to your bank and there is even the slightest chance you will need more money soon, take the limit. Take $100 or $300 instead of $20. I mean if you are going to pay $5 anyway at least taking more prevents you from paying $5 again tomorrow, or even later today. 

Save Money. Consider the Cost

It's ultimately up to you. You must count the cost. If you are paying for convenience and that's what you really need right now, it may be worth the fee once in a great while. I can guarantee you that if you are paying this fee more than a few times a year it's not worth the cost and you are failing to think through your money plan. Money has you running around instead of you telling your money what to do.

My preferred method of getting cash is Cash Back. It's the best way to go unless you have an ATM from your bank closer than the store. I'm at the store FAR more than I'm at or around any bank. Cash Back is the way to go!

Take the suggestions above and stop paying those fees!

Every dollar you spend today, is a dollar you can't spend tomorrow. 


Have thoughts or comments? Start a conversation below!

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By Darrell Wolfe

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    Disclaimers:

    FOR MY FULL DISCLAIMER: See my "Start Here About" page. Click Here

    Information here is As-Is. These are the opinions of a fellow traveler and seeker of truth. I am not a doctor, lawyer, licensed financial advisor, tax preparer, etc, etc... I'm just one guy, sharing what he's learned. As such, the information may be as true or faulty as the guy on the buss stop giving you directions. If you need accurate information I encourage you to seek the help of a professional in your field. 

    * I do make money from this blog. 1 Tim 5:18 says the worker is worthy of his wages. I do earn affiliate commissions or freebies from some of the products I discuss at various points on this blog. Regardless I only suggest things that have personally helped me, or someone I know. If you click on an "Affiliate Link" and you buy something I'll get a cut. Thanks for your support! 

    I am a conservative Christian. I write from a bible-centric point of view. I welcome people from other points of view to jump into the conversation. If you don't like bible-centric writing: I encourage you not to read my posts.... Unless you want to learn something new. 

    * In all you do: Live Long and Prosper, with GOOD SUCCESS! 


    Thank you, Darrell Wolfe


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