If you’re like most people, you don’t give much thought to banking service fees. They’re just an inevitable part of today’s banking experience, right? You’ve got to be careful, because careless banking can cost you hundreds of extra dollars per year, and the effort required to save that money is little. Find out some easy ways to cut down on your bank fees each year.

Your checking fees can cost you a lot, and if you’re writing a lot of checks, then maybe you should investigate the no fee checking options that can be available. Most banks will offer no fee checking, as long as you keep a minimum balance in your account each month and that minimum is often very reasonable. Shop around between all the banks in your area and find out which one offers the most attractive checking package for your unique needs.

There’s also no need to buy the bank’s expensive checks, after all the checks that you can buy from a discount wholesaler will work just as well, and will save you a bit of money.

The biggest fees associated from check usage are from bounced check fees. Some banks will hit you with fees of up to 50 dollars when you commit this banking sin. It’s easy to avoid, as a bounced check is almost always just a result of carelessness. Balance your checkbook, well in advance of the end of the month, and always leave a monetary buffer in your account at all times. There will be times when checks that you deposit are slow to clear, or direct payday deposits come a little late. Your buffer will give you the peace of mind you need to write your checks without worry.

If your bank requires a minimum monthly balance for free checking services, sign up for a daily interest account. You should do it anyways, as these accounts will accrue a lot more interest over the years, but they will also save you from falling under the minimum balance needed, as the bank will calculate the average of the month’s balances, and not just look at the amount in the account at the end of each month.

You can also save money from your ATM usage. We all use ATM’s at convenient places, knowing that we shouldn’t be paying to use another bank’s ATM, but being too lazy to search out our own ATM. An easy solution is to open an ATM use account with the bank that has the most ATM’s on offer in your area. You’ll be a lot more likely to use them if they’re everywhere. Never use “private” ATMS, as they charge the highest fees of all for their service.

You should also strive to take out as much cash as you feel comfortable carrying whenever you use the ATM. Paying repeated fees on small withdrawals will add up to a huge expense over the course of a year.

A few easy changes to your account structure will save you hundreds of dollars a year in unnecessary banking fees. You need to be smart, shop around for the bank and package that best suites your needs, always read the fine print, and make a bit of an effort. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll save each year.

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