May 29, 2019
I don’t know about you, but I like saving money. I like saving money so much that I primarily shop secondhand, keep all of my plastic shopping bags, and have even signed up for rebates and rewards at all of my favorite retailers. But even after all this, I still think of myself as a Moderate Saver. There is so much more that I (and you..!) could do to save even more money and avoid late fees.
Avoid late fees with these tips:
1. Sign up for Email and Text Alerts
I get it. Notifications can be annoying. Redundant texts from your credit card company reminding you that your bill is coming up (as if the date wasn’t already branded into your mind) are the last thing you want to encourage. But, the fact of the matter is those alerts play an important role in helping you avoid late fees. They keep you in the loop when it comes to your finances and ensure that you know when the ever impending doom–, uh– that is your bill, is due.
2. Set up Direct Deposit
I know this one seems like a given, but too many of us have not enrolled in direct deposit. Part of the reason is that many Americans don’t even have a bank account. 14.1 million, to be exact. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to get direct deposit without a traditional big bank to avoid late payment fees. Online banks have made it easier than ever for you to gain access to a safe and secure account for all of your banking needs. Consider how expensive it is to cash a paper check. Wouldn’t it be better to keep more of that money in your account and not pay late fees?
3. Keep a Minimum Balance
I’m sure you read that and said “uh, duh!” but we all know that maintaining a positive balance is not easy. Especially when you have bills to pay, kids to feed, dogs to walk, and self-care to do, I promise, it’s worth the sacrifice. Banks already charge astronomical fees for overdrafts. Fees that could cover more important expenses like copay and gas. When you don’t keep a minimum balance to cover your expenses, and incurring overdraft fees, it’s almost like you’re freely handing out your hard-earned money to your bank.
4. Plan Ahead
Put special thought into how much you make and what you spend. When you were 22, spontaneity was cute, alluring even. But now that you’re in your mid-30s and you’re two kids deep into a college fund, spontaneity is dangerous. *Cue the flashing red lights!* You can’t splurge like you used to, and why would you even want to? Remember the pain you felt looking at your balance the next day after a “healing” shopping spree? To make matters worse, your favorite retailer had a sketchy return policy. Avoid the anxiety and plan for your future by budgeting!
5. Use Your Bank’s ATMs
There isn’t anything quite as noble as refusing to accept the $2.50 ATM fee at your local bodega. That’s a boss move. That’s a “I’m not going to take it anymore” move. Be that person. Be that person who walks the extra block to save $2.50 in ATM fees because they know their $2.50 could be put to better use. Get familiar with the locations of your bank’s ATMs so that you’ll know exactly where to go if you’re ever in need of some cash.
And when your balance is running low despite your best effort, consider Brigit, an app that provides you with the financial tools and alerts you need to better manage your budget, and if you need it, you can get cash to help you avoid late bank fees.
Know someone who could use some simple money-saving hacks? Share this article with them and join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @hellobrigitapp & #BrigitHacks.