Re­view your bank charges

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PERSONAL FINANCE -

If you have not al­ready taken the time to re­view your bank charges, this may be one ex­pense that you can re­duce fairly eas­ily.

Many of us have the wrong bank ac­count or the wrong bank fee pack­age for our needs.

Trawl­ing through the de­tails of your bank’s charges may seem like home­work, but you can use the on­line tools on bank or other web­sites to de­ter­mine which bank ac­count and fee pack­age will be the most cost-ef­fec­tive.

You need to en­ter the trans­ac­tions you typ­i­cally make each month, and the on­line tool will iden­tify the bank ac­count and fee pack­age that is best for you, or give you an in­di­ca­tion of what those trans­ac­tions will cost on a par­tic­u­lar ac­count pack­age each month.

If you are over the age of 55, you may qual­ify for re­duced bank fees. You need to in­form your bank that you have reached the re­quired age.

Look for the fee cal­cu­la­tors on your bank’s web­site or use the bank­ing cal­cu­la­tors on ThinkMoney (www.thinkmoney.co.za) or Just­money (www.just­money.co.za).

You may also need to re­view the way in which you use your bank ac­count. You in­cur high charges for per­form­ing trans­ac­tions over the counter at a branch or for us­ing an­other bank’s ATM.

While you are at it, take a look at your credit card charges and the ben­e­fits you are of­fered on your credit card re­wards pro­gramme. You may be pay­ing a high charge for a credit card that of­fers re­wards you are un­likely to ac­cess.

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