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How to save money by reducing bank fees

This article is part of a fictional case study series following "Sarah", a typical first home buyer in Victoria. Read each article to follow "Sarah" through a variety of articles exploring issues related to buying a home.

After opening her bank statement, Sarah was a little surprised: she had wasted a couple of hundred dollars that year on bank fees. 

This isn't uncommon. They’re often something you don’t pay attention to at first, which means you ignore them even though they add up.

Many mortgage accounts have annual fees of several hundred dollars or more. Take an annual fee of $390 – over a 30 year mortgage that comes to about $12,000!

You’re better off avoiding these types of fees. Here’s how:

  • Shop around. Find accounts that don’t charge any transaction fees or fees for simply having the account in the first place.
  • Plan your cash withdrawals to be at ATMs associated with your bank, or one with no withdrawal fees. It’s those that will really add up.
  • Always maintain a minimum balance if your bank requires one. A handy tip is to get your salary paid into that account.

By staying vigilant with bank fees, you can be sure to avoid annoyances that will stop you from getting in your dream home sooner.

SARAH’S TAKEAWAY:

Saving some money on bank fees doesn't take much effort. It would be silly to not do anything.

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