This post has nothing to do with anything I’ve written before. A fellow member of the Freelance to Freedom Project Community Facebook group asked a question about monthly expenses. She posted her monthly expenses and one expense jumped out at me – $22 bank account fee. Her bank charges her $22 a month for just having the account. I had to tell her about my way to get around this fee. And since I told her, it’s only right that I tell you.
Most banks will waive the bank account fee if you maintain a minimum daily amount in the account (e.g. $1500) or if you have direct deposit. When you’re an employee, direct deposit is easy to set up. When you’re an entrepreneur, though, you may not have money deposited into your account on a consistent basis.
Who wants to maintain $1500 in a checking account that doesn’t earn any interest? Not me. Why not implement your own direct deposit system?
I have an online savings account with Emigrant Bank. The interest rate is low, but at least it’s better than 0% that a typical checking account offers. Most banks will allow a monthly automatic deposit to the account, as long as the deposited amount meets a minimum. At my bank, the minimum amount is $500. Every month on the 15th, I have $500 automatically transferred from my online savings account to my checking account. Direct deposit system implemented! Bank account fee? Gone! And my money is earning interest in the savings account. I just need to always make sure that there’s at least $500 in my online savings account. And I had to make sure that the transaction was an ACH (American Clearing House) credit transaction. Your bank should be able to tell you whether that is the case.
So if you want to say goodbye to bank account fees forever, follow these steps:
1. Open a savings account.
2. Keep at least the minimum amount your bank requires for direct deposit in the savings account.
3. Set up the savings account to automatically transfer the minimum amount from the savings account to your checking account.