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There's a Hole in the Bucket, Dear Liza

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There's a hole in the bucket, dear liza, dear liza, there's a hole in the bucket dear liza, a hole!

I recently discovered an article at that estimated that consumers will pay More than 4.4 BILLION dollars in ATM fee's this year.
I can practically hear you ask, "Why are people being charged an exorbitant amount of money?"

Well, for 1 dirty little word, Convenience.

The average foreign ATM surcharge fee (and by foreign I mean simply banking at any other bank besides your own), has risen to $3.03 per transaction.

Well wait a minute you say, "It's usually says $1.50 or $2.00". Well friend, the fee that you pay at the Foreign ATM (on average) is $1.78, in addition to that fee, Your own bank assesses a fee of $1.25 (on average) for a grand total of $3.03 per transaction. If you take money out of an ATM just twice per week, you've spent over $315 in one year just for the "Convenience" of having instant money at your fingertips.
It's not quite as convenient when you look at that way, is it.

Convenience, my friend, costs our wallets very dearly. If you have a receipt from your latest grocery shopping trip, I challenge you to grab a calculator and add up the cost of the "Convenience" food items on it.
Simple items that can be made at home in the same (or less) amount of time that it takes to make them from a boxful of overly processed contents, such as a Cake or brownie mix. Perhaps you have other items on there too, such as flavored coffee creamers or side dishes like Alfredo Noodles, but did you know that you can make many of these items at home, ahead of time, at a fraction of the cost of the store bought counterparts?

If you commit yourself to making just 12 homemade convenience mixes a month you would save an average of $300 per year. View Convenience Mix Recipes

If there's an inconvenient hole in your bucket, Fix it dear henry.

(C) Liss Burnell 2008

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  1. sharonb4's Avatar
    Thanks for the info.I refuse to pay those feed myself but it takes some planning to ensure that it is not neccessary.
  2. faxonfive's Avatar
    I have noticed that people tend to use their ATM/DEBIT card more and more and are just not using their checkbook as much anymore. I get some of the meanest looks when I use a check when in the grocery line!! I find that using a check not only saves me any elec fees but I can keep track of what I hae spent to avoid thos "nasty over draft" fees that the banks loves to charge when you forget to keep track of using your card!! My bank also doesnt charge me for the checks as long as I keep a savings account open. Convenience does get your wallet I agree!!! Thanks Liss!!
  3. MarieVermont's Avatar
    my bank doesn't charge me any fees and I'm religious about keeping track..but what i wanted to say is that lots of stores around here, take your check, scan it through, and HAND IT BACK TO YOU! *L* Price Chopper and wal-mart being two of them...
  4. jujuboys3's Avatar
    There are some banks that re-imburse ATM fees. We belong to USAA bank. It is is Texas which seems inconvenient, but we also have an account at a credit union here in WI, for transferring around funds when necessary. USAA gives free checks for life, including free shipping and does not charge us any fees for using ATM's and at the start of each month we are reimbursed for any ATM fees we had to pay the previous month. I think there is also a local bank in WI that is starting this also. I forgot that bank's name though, but they have commercials on tv about it.
    HTH someone.
  5. JoAnn's Avatar
    I believe alot of banks are getting on track with reimbursing the ATM fees. I belong to First Merit - they also pay me monthly for direct depoist, online bill paying, free checks along with any ATM fees. And there is no min. amount you have to have in the bank at one time. I'm in Northern Ohio.
  6. JDoseawa's Avatar
    Liss - thanks for your comments. Also, thanks so much for the other info.

    Is there a chance that you can confirm if the prices in your food budget book are still applicable to todays prices? I imagine that they a little different (especially if you adjust for inflation).

  7. Ketsyc's Avatar
    Here it is 2013 and I am just figuring this all out! It seems as if I was living in a "snow globe". Well the truth is I might have been. But now its broken and if we (hubbie and I) plan on surviving my disability and his efforts to overcome his own financial snow globe we have to figure out what we are doing wrong. I think this article has given me a clue, now to see if it works on him! Thanks for sharing your wisdom from the past Liss.
  8. marion77's Avatar
    My advice never use those machines.