Week 18: How to Find & Eliminate Hidden Fees

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You are reading Week 18 of 52 Weeks to Eliminate Debt & Curb Spending. Please read the overview here to learn more about the series & get your FREE financial planner. If you just joined us, please start with week 1.

Did you know that you may have incurred undue debt just because you aren’t paying attention to hidden fees in your accounts? This week we are going to show you how to eliminate hidden fee debts. Even the most careful financial person will miss out on hidden fees that can accumulate on your balances quickly.

Tips to Eliminate Hidden Fees:

Check for monthly account maintenance charges. Everything from your bank account to a secured credit card may be charging you a monthly fee just to maintain your account. While it is common for these fees to be applied, there are many instances where you can switch to a different account or ask for a fee to be waived if your account is in good standing. Shop around for a bank or creditor that doesn’t charge you a monthly maintenance fee.

Personally, I would NEVER pay a fee just to have a checking or savings account at a bank.  Don’t pay extra to let the bank hold your money!

There are also countless credit cards that don’t have an annual fee.  If you’ve previously signed up for a card that waived their fee for the first year, do you know when that fee will be charged?  It might be time to call and make a change to your account.

Find out what falls under “surcharges” on your accounts. At the bottom of many utility, credit card and banking bills you will find items listed as “surcharges”. It is your right to know exactly what is included in those charges. Ask for a breakdown, and dispute items you don’t feel apply to you. While you won’t always be able to have charges removed, you may find that you can. It is one more hidden fee debt that you can rid yourself of.

Go over insurance policies to see what they actually cover. Insurance is a sticky thing to research. Going over insurance policies may be boring, but it can make the difference between paying for something you want and need, and paying for things you will never use.

Check over your auto policy, home owners, renters, travelers, life, dental and vision insurance to make sure you are paying for something that is worth your money. Insurance is a necessary part of life, but sometimes policies vary so widely you will need more information to know you aren’t paying fees for things that won’t apply to you.

Now, I’m not suggesting dropping coverage just to save a few bucks.  The point is ensure you’re not being charged for fees or extra’s that don’t apply to you.

A few insurance policy “hidden” fees:

  • Administrative fee to break up your 6-month premium payments into monthly installments.
  • Fee added for automatic bill pay or pay-by-phone.
  • Extra fee for roadside assistance (which you don’t need if you have AAA.)

ATM fees.  While not hidden, you may be incurring fees each month for using ATM’s that aren’t part of your banks network.  If you go to the ATM twice per week and get hit with a $2 fee for each transaction, you are wasting $16 per month!

As with every step you take toward getting rid of debt, the little things shouldn’t be overlooked. Literally every single dime you can save is one step closer to being free from debt.

Week 18 Challenge:

Pull out all your bank statements, credit card bills, utility bills and insurance policies.  Are you being charged fees that can be eliminated?  Mark up your statements and hit the phone.  Some fees you might have to accept as part of your policy, but others maybe negotiable.

Disclosure: I am not a financial adviser nor do I have formal financial training. All articles are for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as financial advice or consultation. Please consult your account and/or financial adviser before making changes to your finances. All situations are different, so please consult a professional to determine your individual needs.

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Amazon: LEGO Compatible Figures 20 Pieces Just $8.90!

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lego figures 20

My boys love LEGOs but they really really love the figures-and lose them constantly!

Right now you can get a Lot of 20 New Minifigures Figures Men People Minifigs for just $8.90! That’s a savings of over 80%!

  • 20 Community Figures Set
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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Cents of Style: Clutch Just $12.95 Shipped

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Style Steals Clunch 1

Get the beautiful Envelope Clutch Handbag available in 12 colors, perfect for holding all of your essentials for just $12.95 shipped. You can use it 2 different ways, as a clutch or use the adjustable shoulder strap.

The Style Steal is valid Wednesday, 5/27/15, only. Use code “CLUTCHSTEALS” at checkout to get the offer.

Style Steals Clunch

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The Fresh Market Coupon Matchups 5/27 – 6/2

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The Fresh Market Logo Get your weekly The Fresh Market coupon matchups! There is no official coupon policy, but they do accept manufacture coupons.

Beverages

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Bhakti Chai Iced Chai Tea, 16 oz – $3.00

Final Price: $1.50
Buy 2; Use B1G1 Coupon

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Honest Fizz Zero Calorie Soda, 6 pk 12 oz – $4.99

Final Price: $3.99

Condiments, Spice & Baking

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Earth Balance Spread, 10 – 16 oz – $3.00

Price Valid On 5/27 – 6/9 Only

Cookies, Snacks & Candy

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I Heart Keenwah Puffs, 3 oz – $3.00

Out-of-Pocket Price: $3.00
Final Price: $1.75
Buy 1; Submit for Shrink Rebate; Submit for Snap Rebate

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Peanut Butter & Co. Smooth Operator Penut Butter, 16 oz – $3.99

Out-of-Pocket Price: $5.98
Final Price: $2.98
Buy 2; Use (2) $1/1 Coupons; Submit for MobiSave Rebate

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Probar, 2.46 oz – $2.00

Final Price: $1.50
Buy 2; Use $1/2 Coupon

Dairy

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TFM rBST-Free Milk, 1 Gal – $2.99 – Milk promotion not available in AR, CT, LA, MA, MO, NJ, P, TN, VA, WI. TFM Organic Eggs Will Be Substituted in These States Only

Price Valid On 6/2 Only

Meat, Poultry & Fish

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Beef, Ground, Chuck, per lb – $2.99

Price Valid On 6/2 Only

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Chicken, Breast, per lb – $2.99

Price Valid On 6/2 Only

Produce

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Driscoll’s Strawberries, 1 lb – $4.99

Final Price: $2.25
Buy 2; Use $0.50/1 Coupons; Includes B1G1 Savings
Click here to see the complete list

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Lowes Foods Coupon Matchups 5/27 – 6/2

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Lowes Food Logo The Lowes Foods Coupon Matchups are done! Please visit the Lowes Foods Coupon Matchups Page for the complete list of deals.

  • Double up to 20 manufacturer coupons with a face value of $0.99 or less per day.
  • Any manufacturer coupon that states -Do not double- will not be doubled.
  • No cash back will be awarded.
  • Limit redemption to 4 like coupons.
  • Digital coupons and paper coupons for the same item may not be combined in the same transaction.
  • FREE Product printable coupons are not accepted. B1G1 Free printable coupons are accepted.
  • Accept competitors coupons for dollars off the entire order. Does not accept competitors coupons for savings off specific items.
  • See the Lowes Foods Coupon Policy.
B1G1 Sale Prices Based on Purchasing a Single Itam

B1G1

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Arnold Bread, 24 oz – $2.14

Final Price: $1.04
B1G1 pricing for a single item. Regularly priced $4.29.

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Edy’s Ice Cream, 48 oz – $2.99

  • $1.00/2 Edy’s Slow Churned Light or Grand Ice Cream – 5-17-15 SS (exp. 07/15/15)
  • $1.50/2 Edy’s Slow Churned Light or Grand Ice Cream – 5-17-15 SS (exp. 07/15/15)
Final Price: $2.24
B1G1 pricing for a single item. Regularly priced $5.99.

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Fab Ultra Powder Detergent, 2.1 lb – $2.99

Final Price: $2.49
B1G1 pricing for a single item. Regularly priced $5.99.

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Hormel Sausage, 16 oz – $2.49

Final Price: $1.49
B1G1 pricing for a single item. Regularly priced $4.99.

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Mama Lucia Meatballs, 20 oz – $3.74

  • $2.00/1 Mama Lucia Meatballs – 5-3-15 RP; Includes Italian Style, Homestyle, or Italian-Style Turkey; DND (exp. 07/06/15)
Final Price: $1.74
B1G1 pricing for a single item. Regularly priced $7.49.

Beverages

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Lipton Family Size Tea Bags, 24 ct – $2.00

  • $0.40/1 Lipton Tea Bags, K-Cups, Tea & Honey, or Iced Tea Mix – 5-17-15 RP; Maximum 2 Identical Coupons Allowed In Same Shopping Trip (exp. 06/14/15)
  • $0.60/2 Lipton Recipe Secrets – 5-17-15 RP; Maximum 2 Identical Coupons Allowed In Same Shopping Trip (exp. 06/14/15)
  • $0.75/1 Lipton Tea Bags, K-Cups, Tea & Honey, or Iced Tea Mix – 5-17-15 RP; Maximum 2 Identical Coupons Allowed In Same Shopping Trip (exp. 06/14/15)
  • $1.00/2 Lipton Tea Bags, K-Cups, Tea & Honey, or Iced Tea Mix – 5-17-15 RP; Maximum 2 Identical Coupons Allowed In Same Shopping Trip (exp. 06/14/15)
Final Price: $0.50

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McCafe Coffee K-Cups, 12 ct – $6.99

  • $1.00/1 McCafe Coffee Item
  • $0.75/1 McCafe Coffee Product – 5-3-15 SS (exp. 06/13/15)
  • $1.50/1 McCafe Coffee Product – 5-3-15 SS (exp. 06/13/15)
Final Price: $5.49

Home Supplies

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Snuggle Fabric Softener, 32 oz – $2.99

Final Price: $1.99

Meat, Poultry & Fish

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Beef, Ground Chuck, 80% Lean, per lb – $2.97

Packaged Meats

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Land O’ Frost Simply Delicious Lunchmeat, 13 oz – $3.98

Final Price: $2.48

Produce

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Apples, Red Delicious, per lb – $0.98

Click here to see the complete list

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