We all know that Nickel and Diming ourselves is one way to save the big money. I thought I would jot down some ways we voluntarily or unknowingly give up the nickels and dimes.

Here are some ways to save the little money on fees:

Point of Sale
Some stores charge for using a debit swipe to pay for your food; know them and hate them.
Alternative: Swipe using the credit card option instead

Restocking Fees
You are returning an item and you get walloped with a 10-15% fee to put the item back on the shelf
Alternative: Check with store about this possible fee before you buy an item. You may want to shop elsewhere if you are not absolutely sure you won't return it.

Monthly Banking Minimums
Banks are a wonderful place to keep your money; unfortunately; they also like to dip their hands in your pockets as well if you don't keep a certain minimum in the account.
Alternative: Free checking accounts are around and credit unions are handy places to keep your money.

Double ATM fees
Go to most any ATM and you get charged 1.50 or more to use. Some banks also like to tack on charges for not using the ones that they 'approve' of. It then seems that you get both your left and right pockets picked.
Alternative: Know where your approved bank ATM's are or write a check for over the amount and get cash.

Bi-weekly Mortgage
Many people say it is a good idea to pay bi-weekly on your mortgage to reduce the principle faster. Unfortunately, some places will charge you a fee for this; check with your mortgage loaner first before you start this process.
Alternative: Add more to your monthly bill

Paper Statement
Some companies will charge you an extra couple of dollars for sending out a paper statement or an extra statement via snail mail.
Alternative: Find out if you can view and print bills online

Upgrade/Downgrades
Mostly TV companies, some phone companies as well, will charge for changing service packages.
Alternative: Find out if you can get it waived or get half off

Over limit/Late fees
These are the killers, because they are 15-40 dollars a piece.
Alternative: Make sure you know where you stand in relation to the limit of your credit card. Try calling to get the fee removed
Note: I was three days late on a payment and called up to get the fee removed by being pleasant and giving the facts. It took all of 4 minutes.

Medical Access/Admin
This is something that should be challenged if you see this on the bill as it should be included in with the billing to the insurance company

Medical Records
Check your state fee limits to see if you are being overcharged for these, they are rarely above a dollar a page. Also make sure you clarify what exactly you need as they will give it all to you and you will have to pay for it all.

1 Comments

  1. Bryan @ Frugal Logic // Saturday, January 17, 2009 10:33:00 PM  

    I have a bad habit, I tend to pay for small items with notes, so I end up with lots of coins.

    I used to take it to a bank (not actually my bank) down the road from my workplace which had an automatic coin counting machine. I could take all my coins down and get notes back and they didn't charge for the service.

    Unfortunately you have to be a member of that bank to use this service now.

    I going to make it my new habit to pay all my little purchases by card now.