Hello, My Fruggies! I am still vexed at all of this banking fee news, even though I saw it coming and wrote about it at TheFrugalista.com. With Bank of America declaring that it will charge $5 per month for debit card usage, what’s a Frugalista to do to hold onto her money? I mean, it’s $60 a year. No, this bank fee trend will not put me into poverty the first year; however, fees are still a drain on anyone’s coffers. If the average life expectancy is 77.9 years, are you trying to tell me that an 18-year-old college freshman could potentially spend at least $3,600 of what could be her retirement income paying for Big Bank X’s CEO’s corporate bonus? What if she had invested $60 per year instead of paying it to Big Bank X? Get my point?
Another problem I have with most of these bank fees is that they prey on the financially insecure. In most cases, it’s the student accounts or other entry-level accounts that are getting stuck with fees. In Bank of America’s case, you have to have more than $20,000 saved in the bank or a Bank of America mortgage to beat the fee. Why? Well, the banks can make more interest of your money if you put more of it in the bank. Also many high wage earners or savers, wouldn’t stand for it. So, while we Frugalistas are working on earning and saving more so these bank fees won’t curse our wallets, I’m still determined to find some other solutions!
On Twitter, we had a really great conversation about bank fees and alternatives to paying them. I’m continuing the conversation at 8pm est. on Wed. I am holding a Twitter #dealchat on exploring credit unions. Now, I don’t think credit unions are perfect, but I do think they are an option worth considering when it comes to your money. In fact, there’s a “Move Your Money” movement that’s been going on for a while.It’s not the easiest thing to change financial institutions, but it’s not the easiest thing to watch your money get “nickeled and dimed” away. We may not have all of the answers, but we sure can ask the right questions! Be sure to follow me on Twitter @frugalista.
So what do you think about the fees? Do you think people are whining too much about them? Do you think people are cheap? Do you think banks are trying to stick it to the consumer? What are you going to do about the fee? Would you change banks?