I remember the days before overdraft protection. I think I wrote about 20 bad checks before then. I also remember sending money orders, cashiers checks or cash in person to fix those issues or better yet! as was the case of NetZero, AOL and some other service I just got them stop via the great neglect.
I had become an individual who knew I didn’t have the money to spend but I did it anyway because I bought what I didn’t need and to hell with the future.
Then came overdraft protection. For years I spent nearly a thousand dollars a year on fees. I had no self esteem. I lived less than paycheck to paycheck. The fact was that it was my own fault. I knew how to balance a checkbook, I just choose not to. Which leads me to raise a giant bull-shit flag on this article.
It may be true that banks charge exorbitant fees. They do! That’s why I now have only credit union accounts and a PayPal account. When you have a Credit Union account, you are one of the owners of the bank. I still will get charged for writing bad checks so I don’t write bad checks. It is pretty simple.
Now here is some financial advice from me to you. Walk into your bank today and do what I did to Bank of America 10 years ago. Close your account. Take your meager $15 and put it in your pocket. Find a Credit Union and put $5 dollars in to join and the rest in for good luck.
The following article touts the overdraft fee as the culprit but that is one of many. Another one is getting charged for having a checking account when you do not have direct deposit. Don’t fall for that.
Finally no matter how you bank stop blaming the financial institution for your decisions. Sometimes you will screw up. Just do what I have done.
No kidding, there I was… I had anticipated my direct deposit to go in on Wednesday. I scheduled 6 transactions for Thursday, but I forgot that I made a PayPal Business Debit purchase for $3. Guess what? I was $1.53 short. My credit union charged me $25 x 6. My wife was the first to get the good news.
I said, to her that I would take care of it. It was not a wise idea to play so close with our finances but I played the game and got burned. Now I play with a ledger that I track weeks and up to a month (GnuCash) ahead but that’s another story. Anyway, I took my sorry ass to our credit union and spoke to the branch president. My transaction of direct deposit had gone in exactly after my 6 withdraws.
The branch president waved her magic wand and immediately the fees were deposited back into my account. I asked if I could give her a hug. She said yes.
Get to know who you deposit your money with. Stop blaming them for your mistakes. If they are too big to deal with, then get a credit union. Own your financial situation.