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Paid a Stupid Tax

March 2nd, 2013 at 06:08 pm

Followers of Dave Ramsey know what a stupid tax is. For those of you who do not know, a stupid tax is money you lost, spent, or had to pay for doing something that, in hindsight, is stupid.

In our case, DW and I are intent on eliminating our mortgage. We are so intent on it, that when a milestone presented itself as being "in reach," we reached out and grabbed it by paying more than we had planned for February.

Well, the bank statement had a $12 fee... What the heck?! It's "free checking!" As I live overseas, I cannot make a direct deposit. Therefore, free checking requires a $1500 minimum daily balance. Well, we dipped below $1500 for a couple of days, and whammo! $12 down the tubes.

Now, a lot of folks would tell me to go to the bank and complain to get my money back. I have a very strict code of ethics. If I were in the right, I would definitely complain - loudly and long - until I got the charge rescinded. In this case, though, I was in the wrong, and therefore will pay the fee.

The real kicker is that we have enough money in our other accounts that we could have easily transferred the money before sending the payment and avoided the fee altogether.

I hope it is "lesson learned," and we don't incur the onerous fee again. I think the $12 amount is outrageous, and when I get a chance, I'll be transferring my accounts to my "other bank." We have avoided doing this so far, only because of all of the direct withdrawals we have coming from the current account. The twelve dollars is our incentive to make the effort to get away from what Clark Howard terms "the big monster megabank."

6 Responses to “Paid a Stupid Tax”

  1. mjrube94 Says:

    Love the picture! Sorry that you got caught short and had to pay the $12 fee...

  2. Tightwad Kitty Says:

    Our bank fees are higher here if you are overdraw, somewhere between $20 and $40 as you can see I don't overdraw or you loose any discounts on your bills if you are late. It pays to keep an eye these things. It's better in your pocket than theirs.

  3. Wino Says:

    This was not an overdraft fee. It was a service fee because we let the balance dip below their prescribed minimum. I don't mind paying A fee, but I object to $12 for ONE month under their minimum...

  4. JulieAlbright Says:

    Well, as far as a stupid tax goes that one is pretty minor. Not to brag or anything but I've paid stupid tax far, far greater than that little $12 sum. Wink
    I have two checking accounts. One is a local bank and it is completely free checking and the only condition is one paycheck a month has to be direct deposited. It pays no interest though and if I ever travel out of our little region I'm paying ATM fees if I want cash. The other is a National Bank that refunds all foreign ATM fees etc. and pays a whopping .1% in interest, but finding a branch and talking to a real human is impossible. We can electronically move money between the two of them fairly easy, so we muddle through.

  5. Jerry Says:

    We are living overseas as well, and one of our US banks has been a royal pain in the tushie about 95% of the time for the past 5 years. I cannot wait to shift everything to our other bank, as well, which also happens to be the company that does our insurance (USAA). A shame about that fee, though... you were not anywhere near being overdrawn, just dipped under their magical barrier line for a bit, and it leads to a penalty. As if it hurt them remotely somehow, or something...

  6. Wino Says:

    It will hurt them remotely... when I close my account completely.

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