The adage is that death and taxes are unavoidable. To build upon that observation, certain fees that we think are an inescapable part of modern living can be overcome. There are various areas where we can cut out the unnecessary expenses and keep the cash.
Related: 25 Ways to Save Money
Credit Card Fees
An obvious one to many regular readers of this blog: if life involves paying monthly interest to credit card companies, then it is time to take stock. There are bigger issues to fix than saving a few dollars here and there as most of the sections below will discuss. The plastic card is certainly handy in many cases and helps in not having to carry a lot of paper money everywhere. But, poor use of that card can put the individual in a debt pool capable of swallowing one’s life, while boosting profits for the credit card companies.
Online shoppers on sites like eBay will know that the same item could be offered for substantially different prices and that closer inspection will reveal the difference being offset by the shipping charges. It is possible to select sellers who offer free or low-cost shipping solutions while comparing prices. However, most sellers insist on buyers paying for return items and it is rare to find a seller who will reimburse shipping fees for return items.
Airline Baggage Fees
Airline baggage allowances have changed over the last few years and presently, airlines only allow one free checked luggage for most passengers. Being a premium/elite member in an airlines’ loyalty program may offer relaxed rules. The weight limitations vary for longer flights but the number of bags allowed still remains the same for most travelers. Packing light and smart by using a packing list and eliminating unnecessary stuff on a vacation/business trip can help avoid this expense.
Editors Note: For Canadian travelers, Air Canada allows ONE free checked bag for domestic flights, but charges for ALL bags for international flights. Westjet, on the other hand, still allows ONE free checked bag for international flights. Right now, AC charges $25 per bag per direction so with two travelers, that’s an extra $100 + tax added to your flight cost.
Car Rental Insurance Fees
Renting a car may not be expensive if one is savvy but still, extra options like insurance, collision damage protection, and personal accident coverage can add up. Many credit cards cover car rentals but please check for restrictions that might be placed. In addition, auto insurance policies may offer extended liability coverage for vehicles not owned by the member; it may be worth checking out for frequent renters. Evidently, there will be a fee (the irony!) for this additional coverage; so, it is necessary to compare with the plan offered by the rental company.
Most banks charge a fee for every transaction done at partner banking machines. Withdrawing cash ahead of time (goes with planning and budgeting) can save this cost. However, if a situation necessitates using a partner ABM, it might be worth withdrawing sufficient cash to avoid another transaction in a few hours at the same or another partner banking machine.
Chequing Account Fees
Most banks charge a monthly fee for chequing accounts but a few of them waive the fee for clients who hold other products. For example, RBC waives the monthly fee for clients having an RBC credit card and an investment product (say, GIC) to go with the chequing account.
Brokerage Transfer Fees
Certain discount brokerages have started covering the transfer fee that an incoming client would incur at their previous discount broker. However, this service is usually reserved for accounts of a fair size (say, total of $25K and higher). Either way, it would be useful to verify if the new broker would cover the transfer fee before moving accounts.
What tips do you have on avoiding fees to save money?