Spring cleaning is that time of year when we can channel our inner-Marie Kondo and toss out what isn’t sparking joy in our lives. While many of us will be getting rid of several old pairs of socks, we should also find ways to declutter our finances. A quick way to jump-start spring cleaning is getting rid of everyday fees that we should not be paying, from overdraft fees to that monthly subscription charge you forgot about.
Every year, Americans pay billions of dollars in fees, including $100 billion in bank penalties while waiting for payday. Most fees are fairly well-known (like monthly subscriptions, overdraft fees, late fees, etc.), while others are more hidden (like minimum balance fees or account closure fees). At Earnin, we know how hard our community members work for their paychecks, and we believe no one should be weighed down by unnecessary fees.
“These fees really add up. Especially if you overdraft more than once. It just really starts piling up, and it’s not a good feeling,” an Earnin customer told us recently about overdraft fees.
To help our community members save more of their hard-earned money this year, we’re sharing three quick tips to help you spring clean your finances and avoid unnecessary everyday fees.
Tip 1: Overdraft Fees
The Problem: An unexpected overdraft fee can quickly balloon into debt worth several hundreds of dollars. After the first overdraft, banks unfairly charge an average of $35 each time an account is overdrawn or each day the account is not in good standing (when the account has a negative balance or doesn’t meet the minimum balance).
Solution: Customer service representatives can be accommodating and many times will offer a courtesy waiver if the situation can be explained politely. In fact, the likelihood of having fees waived by simply asking is extremely high. According to a 2018 survey from CreditCards.com, 70 percent of those who asked to have their annual fee waived or reduced were successful. You can also use Earnin’s Balance Shield Alerts to get notified when your account has a low balance to help avoid a potential overdraft fee.
Tip 2: ATM Fees
The Problem: Using an out-of-network ATM can come with withdrawal fees that on average charge $4.68. That’s 36 percent higher than it was in 2008, according to a Bankrate report.
Solution: Although most banks’ apps can help their customers find a fee-free ATM close by, it isn’t always possible to get there. But there’s a nifty way to get cash without actually going down to the ATM. Most local grocery and retail stores offer no-fee cash back to buyers at the time of payment.
Customers will only be asked to enter their four-digit personal identification number, as they would with any debit card payment, to get cash back with their purchase.
Tip 3: Recurring Fees
The Problem: Keeping track of recurring fees like cell phone bills, gym membership fees and utility bills among others can be tough. Every year, about 1 in 8 Earnin users with a streaming subscription (such as Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube) experience an overdraft triggered by a subscription service, Earnin found in 2018.
Solution: The Earnin App’s Financial Calendar is a handy tool that informs community members if there’s a recurring fee coming up soon. Use the Calendar to determine if you no longer need the service and should cancel your subscription to avoid future recurring fees. If you still need the subscription, you can request a cash out to pay for it in case you’re budget-restrained that week.
We’re always looking for ways to help our community. Give these tips a try in the coming months or let us know if you have any of your own. Email us: email@example.com