Clever Ways to Avoid Useless Fees and Bills

By on March 7, 2014

avoid feesThere’s nothing worse than handing over your hard earned cash just because of some hidden cost or because you were disorganized. But don’t worry; there are so many ways to avoid useless fees and bills.

Plus, we’re not too far into 2014, so you can absolutely make it your goal to avoid fees this year. You just have to be vigilant.

Here’s how:

1. Do Research Ahead of Time

I recently opened a new business checking account. It was challenging to find one that didn’t have a fee. I looked high and low, but I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for.

As a solopreneur, I try to keep my expenses as low as possible, and the thought of giving $15 to a bank just to have my business account with them seemed really uncool. So, I called my current bank and talked to a manager. Turns out, since I was already a loyal customer, he waved the fee. Without this time and research, I would have been out around $100 a year. It was worth the time spent finding the perfect match for me.

2. Enroll in Automation

Every time I suggest automation in one of my posts, there is usually one person who is adamantly against it. I understand that it might be a little scary to allow a company to go in and take money out of your bank account, but you can always go back and check it at the end of every month.

The biggest perk of automation is that you won’t get late fees. When you go on vacation, your bank account automatically pays bills for you. I’d rather pay an overage and get an account credit than be charged a useless late fee.

3. Spend Money to Save Money

Some people frown upon spending money on credit card annual fees, but sometimes you have to think creatively about it. If your airline credit card gives you priority boarding and free checked bags then it might be worth it, since checked baggage fees can be as much as $50 per bag now! Instead of always trying to pinch pennies here and there, sometimes thinking outside the box can actually give you more benefit and more money in your pocket.

4. Get Rid of Expenses

It might seem like a no brainer, but sometimes people have way too many bills. No wonder they can’t remember to pay them all on time! Why do you need Netflix if you have cable? Why do you need cable if you have the Internet? Why do you need an iPad if you have an iPhone? I know, that last one was a tough one!

If you really want to save some money, think about all of your expenses and bills. How many of them do you actually use? A smart and savvy person will try to downsize as much as possible and try to make it with just the necessities. Remember, canceling a bill isn’t the end. I’m sure whatever business you cancelled would love to have you back and possibly at a lower rate if you change your mind.

What are some other ways to avoid useless fees and bills?

 

About Catherine Alford

Catherine Alford is a personal finance writer who received a B.A. from The College of William and Mary and an M.A. from Virginia Tech. When she is not writing for other websites on all topics frugal and fabulous, she enjoys sharing her adventures on her blog, www.BudgetBlonde.com. Follow her on Twitter @BudgetBlonde or like Budget Blonde on Facebook.

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