Are you one of those people that is forced to use an ATM when you are strapped for cash? Have you ever considered how much money you are wasting just to access your own money? ATM Fees are one of the ways that banks make their money. They rely on the convenience factor to steal away your precious money.
Avoiding ATM Fees
Avoiding bank fees is one of the easiest things to do. All that is required is some simple planning. If you plan ahead and carry enough cash, you will save yourself a lot of money in the long run. But, what happens if you don’t normally carry cash?
I personally don’t like to use cash on most of my purchases. I don’t like to carry a lot of money because it is much harder to track your spending. Try thinking how much you spent the last time you used cash. Unless you keep all of your receipts, I bet it is hard to remember how much you spent. This is why I use credit cards for most of my purchases. You can also receive rewards on your credit card. I like the idea of someone giving me money on expenses I would make even if they didn’t pay me.
I will admit that using credit cards for most of my purchases puts me at a slight disadvantage, but I think the benefits outweigh the hassle. All that is needed to avoid ATM fees is to plan ahead, as I said. If you know that you are going to a bar that will most likely only take cash, why not stop at your local bank to withdraw some cash? This extra step can go a long ways to save you the fee.
ATM Fee that Saved Me Money
While you should always try to avoid these annoying fees, life does happen. Unexpected costs surprise you and force you to use an ATM. Just a few weeks ago, my wife and I went with some friends to dinner and a concert. When we got the bill, the waiter didn’t split the bill, so my wife and I volunteered to pay with cash and our friends would put the other half on their card. The only problem was that when we went to pay the cover charge for the concert, they only accepted cash. We had just used most of our cash on dinner. I thought we were doomed.
We only had $10 left in cash and the fee to get into the concert was $17 each or $34 for us both. We had no choice but to use the ATM. I just withdrew the money from the ATM when my wife came to tell me that our friend’s aunt was paying our cover charge (since we came to see their cousin). I was disappointed because I had just paid $2 to withdraw money that I no longer needed. Then, my wife pointed out that if we had the money on us in the first place, we would have had to pay $34 to enter the concert and our friend’s aunt wouldn’t have paid. When I thought of it this way, it made everything better. Paying the $2 ATM Fee ended up saving me $32.
The Moral of the Story
While my story has a great ending to it, this does not mean that you should cease to plan and use ATM’s whenever you need quick cash. Instead, start planning ahead and think about how much money you are saving while you are doing it.