This caper happens to most people without a thought as to the long- term effect it has on our finances. Banks have been kings at milking every
quarter from you in fees, and now, the stores and services we frequently use
have joined in the caper. It's small change and we do not think
about it much, but, over time, it will hurt our pocket
books. Ouch! What am I talking about? The silent charges you get when you use your credit card or ATM card to buy small items or pay bills.
When it's time to pay your phone bill, and you do it by phone, you will hear,"How
do you want to pay this: by check, debit or credit card?" But, wait!
when you go to some of the fast food, gas, mini-marts, you hear:"
Please swipe your card and enter your pin," for that can of pop, candy bar, or for that tank of gas. They usually post a note somewhere in the store which
reads: "Notice, a fee will be added to your purchase."
Letís look at a couple of these capers to your wallet.
Caper One: I call the phone company and want to pay my bill. Cool eh? They transfer you to a service that they now use and for a $1.00 added to your bill you can pay buy ATM or Check. Letís do the math. Usually your bill is paid monthly, that means you will pay $12 extra per year to pay your bill this way. It only twelve dollars per year but donít forget that is not the only company that may charge you a fee. The light companies, cell phone companies, water company and I am sure you can think of many more bills you pay by phone that added an additional
charge. When you add this all up, you are going to be in for a surprise as to how much you pay to use phone convenient service payments methods. Some of the Credit card companies will charge to $10.00 to pay your monthly bill by phone checks. That serious money, $120.00 per year to pay your credit card bill by phone check. Yes, it does add up to a lot of money.
Caper Two: I have a friend that every day goes to the local gas - mini mart to
buy a pack of cigarettes. He does this before he goes to work every morning. His thought is to cut down smoking by only buying one pack a day. He usually pays for his purchase with his ATM card. Just swipe the card through method. Well if he would take a moment read the fine print, he would find that they charge twenty-five cents per swipe to use the ATM purchase method.
Letís do the math. There are 365 days in a year and at 25 cents per day. That
will cost him $91.25 extra in a year. Yipes. But it does not stop here. He usually stops by to purchase a pop, ice cream or gas on most days. And if he does this, which he does, 365 time a year thatís another $91.25 extra for a grand total of $182.50. That
is a lot of money for just one person, but add this to thousands of people who do this daily, now thatís a bundle of money. By the way I notice that they have raised the fee to 35 cents, only a 29% increase in transaction fee.
We need to pay more attention to our pocket change because the retailers, utilities and bank chains are paying great attention to our small change. Do the math. Make changes in how we spend and pay our bills. Used methods that do not have an attached convenient charge added to your bill. Remember do the math. It could add up to
a net of $500 or more per year. And that my friend is usually more than one days work for most people.
Character is always lost when a high ideal is sacrificed on the alters of conformity
and popularity." -William Arthur Ward