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1. Banking fines

There are several ways a bank can charge you fees, so it’s important to read the fine print before engaging in any business.

For example, if you miss a credit card payment, issuers can charge you as much as $41, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Some banks may also charge you maintenance fees — fines you have to pay just to keep your account open — although these fees can be waived if you maintain a certain minimum balance.

And if you use your debit card to spend more money than you have in your account, you can be hit with an overdraft fee.

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2. Subscriptions you forgot to cancel

We’ve all been there. You don’t have time to binge watch on Netflix anymore, or you’ve passed your free trial on Kindle Unlimited and forgot to cancel before the next billing date.

But these forgotten payments can add up over time. One survey from marketing insights agency C+R Research found that 42% of consumers have forgotten about a subscription service they were paying for but were no longer using. And while respondents initially estimated they spent $86 a month on average on their subscriptions, their actual monthly spend came to $219.

An easy way to avoid paying for unwanted subscriptions is to create a budget to track your spending. You could manually record everything in a spreadsheet or download an app that gives you a breakdown of your purchases.

3. Junk fees

Junk fees are extra fees that get tacked onto your purchases but aren’t disclosed upfront. You’ve probably seen them get added onto things like concert tickets or airline fares at checkout.

They may seem pretty small — sometimes just a couple of dollars — but junk fees inflate the cost of your purchases.

There are a few ways you can avoid these surprise expenses. For example, when scheduling your next flight, book through an aggregate site that will give you the actual price upfront. And before going to a fancy restaurant, check their website or call in advance to see if they include any extra charges, such as mandatory gratuity.


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About the Author

Serah Louis

Serah Louis


Serah Louis is a reporter with Moneywise.com. She enjoys tackling topical personal finance issues for young people and women and covering the latest in financial news.

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The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.