Five...Five Dollar...Five Dollar Bank Fees

Well, I am happy to say that I am back in the great state of Maine after an amazing week in Indiana. I'm ready to incorporate some of what I learned into my blogs and videos, and really excited to start bringing more to the table. I can't begin to tell you how fun I had when I was out in the Hoosier State. It was definitely a lot of work while we were out, but everything came together, and you'll see some pretty sweet material in the near future. For a recap of what went down, and other people who were at the conference, check out Dex Dunford's blog from today. It's really great! Also check out the Young and Free video of the week where we sing Chumbawumba.  Okay, back to business.

While I was away, Bank of America came out with an announcement that starting in early 2012, they would begin to charge $5 a month to use your debit card for transactions. Unfortunately, there are other big banks as well who are deciding to tack on excess fees to keep accounts open. Citigroup also recently decided to charge an unpleasant $10 a month on combined accounts that have less than $1,500 in them. I don't know about you, but that seems a bit absurd, especially if you are a college student. I don't know of too many college kids who have lots of excess money kicking around their accounts. Let us also remember that these big banks were bailed out once before and took tons of money to make sure they didn't go under. Now they have decided to impose fees on their members in order to make more money. Now I understand that a bank is a business, and they have to make money, but tacking monthly fees on accounts doesn't seem overly fair to me. So what do you do if you are part of a big bank and want to stay away from the monthly fees?...You guessed it, join a credit union!

I know I've talked about it before, but let's examine free4ME checking shall we? There is no minimum balance (sorry Citibank), no monthly fees (sorry Bank of America), free debit card (no $5 fee here) shared branching which allows you to bank across America (don't know what it is? check out my video here), free online banking (I bank in my PJs often) and the satisfaction of sticking it to "the man". You can look at the big banks and say, "Take that man! I don't need your fees" and join a credit union near you. In a time where many people are trying to cut costs, banks are creating more obstacles to climb over, and taking your hard earned money. Why? Because they can, and they need ways to make money. Bottom line, join a credit union and stay away from those pesky bank fees. Why spend $5 or $10 a month on an account when you can be a part of one that is free?

Are you a part of a big bank?

Seth P.