Hold onto the cash in your account

Don’t pay hefty bank fees

Care to have a guess just how much cash Aussies fork out in bank fees a year?

The number is staggering, and runs into the billions. Yup, billions.

Billions to the banks

  • If you feel like you’re losing lots of cash due to bank fees, you’re not alone.
  • In 2016, Aussie households paid more than $4.4 billion in bank fees.
  • And that’s just the fees paid by households, and people like you. Aussie businesses paid even more.
  • Aussie businesses paid more than $8.2 billion in bank fees in 2016, bringing the banks’ whopping total annual income from fees to almost $12.7 billion.
  • These are the figures revealed in the Reserve Bank of Australia’s annual report into banking fees in Australia.
  • Just wow.

Bank or bust

  • Nowadays you don’t have any choice about whether you want to use a bank.
  • Gone are the days of a cash pay packet and saving your cash away under the mattress.
  • If you want to be paid by your employer or receive your Centrelink benefits, you need a bank account.
  • You even need one to pay most of your bills, as many providers now only accept online or direct deposit payments.

Paying for the privilege of parking our cash

  • It’s really ridiculous when you think about it. You have no choice but to have a bank account to function in modern society.
  • But it’s almost impossible to avoid the fees and charges that come with a bank account.
  • While there’s many ‘fee free’ account options available, many require you to maintain a minimum balance or deposit a certain amount each month to avoid fees. And this isn’t always possible.

How to avoid fees

  • The Reserve Bank report reveals that the significant majority of fees charged by the banks relate to credit cards.
  • From application fees, annual fees, balance transfer fees through to interest charges, credit cards eat up a whopping amount of Aussie cash.
  • Some credit cards can cost more than $1000 a year just to operate!
  • So as always – credit cards are best avoided. Not only are they a dangerous way to build unmanageable debt, they also have a range of hefty fees and charges that eat into your cash.

Be savvy and make smart savings

  • Fortunately we’ve seen a rise in fee-free accounts, and a growing awareness around bank fees and charges.
  • Stay aware of what your bank are charging you, and don’t be afraid to ask them for a better deal – and leave them if they won’t give you one!