Thursday, August 16, 2012

I Hate Fees!

I don't mind paying for the services that I use but when companies start tacking on fees for this and fees for that I usually start searching for cheaper options.  Here's ten fees I try to avoid:

  1. Bank fees.  They already get to use my money (practically) free of charge so I don't feel bad about searching out banks with zero fee checking and savings account (I use two credit unions and now Wells Fargo because the account is fee-free).
  2. Tipping.  I know it is a social custom but I really wish the system was changed to one similar to what is used in other countries, namely you pay a fair price for a meal and the restaurant staff gets paid a living wage. While we never skip tipping wait staff in sit-down restaurants, we rarely go to these types of restaurants (they are expensive and kind of a waste of money when hubby is such a good cook).  We also park our car instead of having it valet parked.
  3. The myriad of airline fees.  I always buy our air tickets online (skipping the added fee of using a travel agent), we only bring carry-on bags (skipping the baggage fees), we don't pay extra for aisle or window seats, etc.
  4. Credit card fees.  It's easy to avoid annual credit card fees, over limit fees, etc. when you don't use credit cards!
  5. I paid a cell phone contract termination fee...once.  Never again.  Now we go strictly with pre-paid cell phones.
  6. We always pay our bills on time and in full to avoid paying late fees.
  7. I always carry cash with me.  Occasionally I have run into places that charge a fee for using a debit card (illegal at this point but they still do it).  Either I go elsewhere or in a couple of cases, when there weren't any other options, I skipped using my card and just paid cash.
  8. I avoid any kind of convenience fee.  I never pay for overnight shipping (I can wait a few days for my package), I don't call 411 to get a number when I can look it up just as easily myself, I buy (the very rare) concert ticket from the venue instead of through Ticketmaster, etc.
  9. I like to read boring documents so I generally catch any "extra" fees on some services I am using and look for ways to waive or avoid these fees (ie: my cell service doesn't charge for roaming, I got a couple of refunds on our home's closing costs because there were extra fees that didn't necessarily need to be there, and to avoid ATM fees before I had a bank here I would buy something at Walmart then get cash back instead of going to an ATM).
  10. I keep good records and look for deductions and ways to lower the amount of taxes we pay. Not a fee technically, but there are a lot of ways to lower the amount of taxes you pay legally which is worth the extra effort.

1 comment:

  1. #8..that "convenience fee" really irritates me, especially for Ticketmaster. Grrr! I pay almost all my bills online now except for the ones that charge a convenience fee for doing so. And those airline fees...well who doesn't hate those? And of course...those Ebay fees....still cheaper than a brick & mortar store, but they really add up to take the "P" out of profit.