NEW YORK - We are all looking to save money, especially during the holidays. One way to save is to see where we're all wasting money, like how we collectively pay $15 billion a year in bank fees.
The remedy is set up bank alerts to avoid those $34 insufficient funds fees. They'll let you know when your balance gets low, so you don't get hit with overdraft fees.
Next, link your bank accounts. You can link your savings account with a credit card to cover overdrafts.
Next, 'tis the season to be shopping. Before you purchase or order anything, review the return policy. Many retailers charge restocking fees, which can eat up to 15 percent of your purchase price, if you need to send it back.
If you get a gift but you're not sure you're going to keep it, don't open it. If you return an electronic item with an open box, you might get hit with a fee. And if you get a product that's faulty, ask to speak to a customer service rep right away.
Remember, many credit cards offer purchase protection options that cover restocking fees, too. So call your card if you get a restocking fee dispute.
Next, airline fees, from checked bags to heavy bags to early seat selection. The cost of your ticket can balloon once you add in fees. So start by weighing your bags on your scale at home. And if you're over the 50 pound limit, move stuff to your carry on. Compare prices, and book an airline that offers free bags so you understand total cost.
You can also save money on your cellphone. The way to get away from mobile data overage fees is to simply use an app that tracks usage. That way, you don't go over your limit.
And 67 percent of us are paying gym memberships we don't use. If this is you, it might be time to quit or bounce between health clubs or classes to take advantage of free or intro rates.
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