It’s amazing how the little things add up. If any of the following are taking you by surprise and nibbling at your savings, it’s time to eliminate the munchers:
1. Reward cards have sprung up like dandelions. While the appeal is obvious – get something back for all that money you’re spending – if you’re also paying an annual fee, you my not be getting your money’s worth. MoneySense has an online tool for helping you choose the right card for you.
Make sure that the benefits you’re deriving outstrip the costs associated with having a card. And do I have to say that no benefit is worth the interest costs if you’re carrying a balance.
2. ATM fees are a boon to the banking industry and a bane to your savings. Despite all the warnings from people like me about not using a banking machine that isn’t your bank’s machine, people are still racking up billions of dollars a year in ATM fees. If you use a machine that’s not affiliated with your bank, you could get dinged up to $4. And if you’re using the ATM like a wallet, paying a $3 fee to pull a $20, you’re a total idiot!
3. Here’s one that jumps up and bites people in the wallet: roaming fees. If you’re heading off on a biz trip or on vacation, call your cell phone provider and make arrangements for using your cell while on the road. If you don’t, roaming charges can climb into the hundreds PDQ. And if you’re also on a data plan and your email is coming through to your phone, you’ll be mighty unhappy when you come home and open up your bill. Have you got a smartphone? Download apps like Skype and Google Voice to make free or discounted domestic and international phone calls.