Some of the nation’s largest banks are raising their fees – AGAIN! This week Bank of America announced that it is raising the monthly fee for its most popular checking account to $12, from $8.95. Let me help you with the math. That’s an increase of 34%.
If you have followed this blog previously, you know that one of my biggest pet peeves and hidden impediment to your ability to manage your debts effectively and have your money work for you is what I refer to as “unconscious spending”. Unconscious spending is what every customer of Bank of America (and virtually all other banks) is doing when they knowingly allow the bank to charge them $144 a year for the privilege of letting the bank hold their money.
According to a recent USA Today article, Bank of America is also changing their fee structure on account overdrafts. Beginning at the end of June, the bank will charge customers $35 for an overdraft, even if the overdraft amount is less than $10. So yes – it’s quite possible that you could now purchase a $35 pack of gum.
So what can you do? Here is a great article from one of my favorite sources, BankRate.com, outlining some strategies for avoiding ridiculous bank fees.
How can you get your unconscious spending under control? A simple first step is to make any fee you pay a bank – well, conscious. Sit down and total up all of the fees you paid your bank last year. Account maintenance fees, overdrafts, ATM fees – list them all. I’ll bet that exercise gets your blood boiling and will act as a powerful motivator to avoid getting ripped off in the future.