How an ATM Fee Saved me $32

atm fees


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.

23 Responses to How an ATM Fee Saved me $32

  1. I always use my bank’s ATM for no fee, if I’m at a place where there are no ATMs from my bank, I use my credit card:)

  2. I always use my CC, carry no cash at all as it is rarely the only way to pay. I haven’t used an ATM in a long time.

  3. I try to avoid them as much as I can by having cash on my regularly. There are not a ton of machines that belong to my CU so I often get stung with fees. When we travel we take out large amounts less often which helps with the fees.

  4. YFS says:

    You got me with the title!!!! Good job lol. But don’t you love how life happens and things go in your favor sometimes. How was the concert?

  5. Evan says:

    awww your poor friend’s aunt! That is who we should feel for in this story she is out 34 bucks lol

  6. We lulled ourselves into the convenience factor of having an ATM machine on every corner. I’m a cash guy and would rather see more people using it.

  7. 101 Centavos says:

    I detest paying for ATM fees, especially from other banks. It especially burns me that Arvest sees fit to charge $3 per withdrawal, while the ATM machine at the little corner gas station is only $2. Banks!

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  11. Penny says:

    I use my credit card for everything, and find myself disoriented when I run into a business that doesn’t take it. I always forget that for smaller venues and one time events, cash may be all they can handle.

  12. I almost never use cash, but I normally keep $40 – $60 in my wallet just in case a venue is cash-only.

  13. Ron says:

    Planning ahead is very important. Especially when one is traveling it can be a real pain to have to search for that next 20.

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  16. Olivia says:

    What? So the moral of the story is, walk around broke and hope other people pay for you? This is the definition of mooch. What a ridiculous story.

    • 20sfinances says:

      If you would have read the entire article, you would know the moral of the story. Managing your finances is not as simple as do this and don’t do that. It’s a unique article on the annoyance of atm fees.

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