Saving is a key component of managing one’s finances. When we think of saving sometimes we think of big amounts and putting money in a investment account that earns interest but rarely do we ever think of saving by reducing the amount we pay as bank charges.
This month l realised that l was charged R140 worth of bank fees from my usual R54. When l started looking at my bank statement I began to realise charges that l never knew existed. I would love to blame the bank for not telling but it was ignorance on my side. I assumed that the service was free. The fees that my bank charged are on their website. They even have a PDF document on them. I have now made a commitment to study my bank statement always and keep myself up to date with the charges.
My bank charges 60c for every R5 airtime purchase using my internet banking, with a maximum cap of R1,80. On my bank statement l had a lot of times when l would buy R12 airtime via my internet banking so every time I would get charged R1,80. The nice thing about my bank is that l swipe for free. So instead of buying airtime online, every time l buy something at a shop l should also include airtime so that l swipe and don’t get charged for it. For example if l bought airtime online 10 times that month I would have spent R18 on bank charges. This may not be much but if you do that for a year you would have saved yourself R216. By swiping l would have saved myself R216.
My bank charges me R1.85 per R100 for every Cash withdrawal via the ATM. Whilst, withdrawing cash at the till like Pick ‘n’ Pay or Checkers l get charged R1.40. So if l where to withdraw R200 at an ATM l would be charged R3.70 but if l withdraw cash at a till for the same R200 l would have been charged R1,40. So withdrawing at the till would save me R2,30. Just like the examples above this is a small amount but when these amounts accumulate they can add up to a substantial amount.
I’ve just highlighted 2 examples of how easy it is to accumulate bank charges. You could end up paying more due to declined transactions, withdrawing money inside the branch and other petty fees. Sometimes it is impossible to avoid paying for fees especially if it is an emergency, but where you can avoid them l encourage you to save. This article was on reducing you bank charges but l would like to encourage you to get into the habit of looking at you bank statements to analyse where your cash is going. To look for that extra rand that you can save which when it accumulates over the months or years can help you in saving a large amount of money.