While bank fees may seem small, they do add up over time. A year’s worth of fees could easily be more money in your saving’s account, or be used to pay down debt. Even so, many people simply pay them without even giving it a second thought. But did you know that you may qualify for a non-fee banking account if you meet certain criteria? If bank fees are weighing you down, here’s how to save.
The first thing that you can do is check to see if you qualify for a basic bank account. A fee-less basic bank account will often provide no minimum deposit amounts, free statements, free direct debits, no fees for overdrawing the account, free debit card access and free unlimited transactions to name a few perks. There are some conditions that you have to meet in order to qualify for a free basic bank account though, which may include having a concession card, health care card or senior’s health card. The Australian Bankers’ Association has a list of what banks offer free basic accounts if conditions are met. Even if you do not qualify for a free basic bank account, it’s still a good idea to shop around for accounts that have less fees than what you are paying now.
Another way to save on bank fees is avoiding the overdrawn account fee. Overdrawing your account even a few times can quickly add up and cause financial stress. The best ways to avoid paying these fees is to keep solid track of your income and expenses either through budgeting software, on a spreadsheet, or by writing everything down.
Another option is to see if your bank offers a personal overdraft account, which works much like a small loan. You are given a pre-approved amount and then if your account becomes overdrawn, you often only pay a small interest charge, which can be less than overdrawn fees. The fees associated with a personal overdraft account will vary, so it’s best to check with your bank. Avoiding overdrawing altogether is the best way to save, but having the personal overdraft account in place just in case may still help reduce fees.
Doing a little bit of research is your best bet to saving on bank fees. Not all banks charge the same fees or the same amounts, so a little bit of time in the beginning can help save a lot of money in the end.