7 financial habits that increase bank fees

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Financial habits that increase bank fees
Financial habits that increase bank fees © bikeriderlondon/

If you're not careful, everyday tendencies can trigger bank fees that drain your cash.

For example, withdrawing more money from your account than you have can trigger costly fees, which have grown in recent years. In fact, overdraft fees, also known as nonsufficient funds fees, rose this year by 1.7 percent to an average of $32.74, according to the 2014 Bankrate Checking Survey.

However, many of these fees are caused by missteps we often make. In fact, the most common bank fees are surprisingly easy to avoid.

Here, experts identify financial patterns that can lead to increased bank fees. Read on to learn what you can do to reverse those habits and avoid hefty charges.

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A few bad habits can be expensive, triggering bank fees that can empty out your account if you're not careful.

Your account could require that you maintain an average balance of, say, at least $300, and if you tend to dip below that level you'll get dinged. So, keep your balance above water by having your paycheck direct-deposited into your account and keeping an emergency cushion.

Another expensive mistake you could easily make over and over again is to withdraw money from an ATM not in your bank's network. That might cost you $5 to $10 each time. If you have to use a nonaffiliated ATM, make sure to take a large enough withdrawal so you won't have to go back for another.

If you tend to make a lot of withdrawals, avoid an account with an excess withdrawal fee. Finally, a very basic and potentially costly mistake is to stick with the wrong bank. Why be loyal to a one that has a monthly fee if you could move your account and save your money?



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