Save money on saving your money

Published 9:43 pm Tuesday, October 16, 2012

By Dana Zeliff

Looking to save money without changing your lifestyle? Take the time to evaluate your budget and assess how much you’re spending on fees, communication and insurance. You’ll be surprised how small changes can add up big amounts at year’s end.

During the next three weeks, we will look at ways to reduce spending. You don’t need to eliminate the necessities, just save money on them.

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Today, let’s talk about banking.

4Don’t pay for checking account, ATM or overdraft fees. Take a few minutes to examine your bank account statements. Are you paying unnecessary fees just for the bank to hold your money for you?

Find out if you need to keep a minimum balance in your checking account to avoid paying a monthly fee. If your bank still requires a checking account fee, consider switching to another bank or using a credit union.

4If you make frequent trips to the ATM (and face paying the fees to do so), use your phone to help you track in-network ATMs. The ATM Hunter App can help.

4Overdrafting your account can quickly deplete your checking account funds. Some banks offer overdraft protection services to help you avoid the monetary and emotional aspects of bouncing a check. You can also see if your bank offers the ability to send you text or email alerts when your account falls below a specific amount.

There are countless ways to lower your monthly budget. A few minutes reviewing any banking fees can add up to a big savings over time. Next week’s column will focus on reducing insurance costs.

Dana Zeliff lives in Chesapeake and writes a blog full of money-saving tips, coupons and advice. Visit her blog at