Get my 5-day email funnel that generated $400,000 from a single launch

Want an email sales funnel that's already proven to work? Get the entire word-for-word email funnel that generated $400,000 from a single launch and apply it to your own business.

Yes! Send me the funnel now
Start Here: “The Ultimate Guide to Making Money”

The 1 question to ask about $1,300 in overdraft fees

70 Comments- Get free updates of new posts here

0

I was having breakfast with someone today who told me the most interesting story. He had been dating his girlfriend for two years before they talked about finances. “It took me that long to get her trust,” he said. She was a public school teacher, so she didn’t make that much money. When he looked at her finances, he noticed that she had a lot of overdraft fees. He asked her to guess how much she had spent in overdraft fees. “About $100 or $200?” she guessed.

It turns out that her overdraft fees totaled $1,300 in the last year.

Here’s where it gets really interesting. He didn’t freak out or start yelling about how to negotiate out of bank fees. He simply pointed out something very gently: “What if you could focus on your overdrafts? If you eliminated just that fee, you’d be so much better off.”

Not set up an entire investment plan and global asset allocation. Not create a fully automated system with multiple accounts and savings strategies. Just focus on one big problem.

Now the question is…what’s your one big problem?

(Mine is eating out too much.)

0

Related Articles

standard post picture

Starting back from zero

If I had to do it all over again, could I? If I had to start my business over -- ...

Read More
standard post picture

How to ask for a favor (and get what you want)

Every year on my birthday, I ask my readers to do me a simple favor. I tell them to leave ...

Read More

70 Comments

0
 

Leave a Reply

70 Comments on "The 1 question to ask about $1,300 in overdraft fees"

Notify of
avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest
Anonymous Person
Anonymous Person
8 years 3 months ago

My spouse, that’s my biggest problem 😉 . . . posting as anonymous for obvious reasons.

holly
8 years 3 months ago

$820 in overdraft fees just in the past 120 days. i was hoping to see some answers in this post – i already know i need to focus on it. but WHAT do you do?

Rick
Rick
8 years 3 months ago

My 87 Jeep. Its not intentional. . .but I want to keep it running and not buy a new car.

Maybe that would be cheaper?

mark
mark
8 years 3 months ago
@holly You keep track of your account balance, sign up for online banking to keep abreast of your balance, and don’t write checks or use your debit card for purchases when you don’t have the money in your account. You keep a running tally of your purchases, even in a tiny notebook, so you always know how much money is in your account. You build a buffer in your checking account (mine is $150) that the account will NEVER fall below. NEVER. If that means that I’m eating nothing but plain pasta with frozen vegetables for a 10 days, so… Read more »
mark
mark
8 years 3 months ago

and to answer the question:

my biggest problem is outdoor gear. It takes a tremendous amount of willpower for me to not run down to REI and buy all the gear i want (not need), especially when they keep sending me catalogs with new climbing and backpacking gear…

fanofsteel
fanofsteel
8 years 3 months ago
I was there once. For Holly, If a check is going to bounce go somewhere where you can write one big check instead of lots of little ones. I had as grocery store that would let me write checks ( I had overdraft protection) for 150.00 over my purchase. This would give me some pocket money for (cheap) lunches or other needs, needs, needs. Not Wants, NEEDS. If it’s not a need then live without it until you can afford it. When I was married the first time my spouse would write checks without regard to the balance in the… Read more »
Nick H
Nick H
8 years 3 months ago
I used to do the same thing all the time … darn debit card. Between that and those awful (being kind there) payday loans, aka suck-your-soul-out loans, I was constantly behind. I created a budget in Excel that tracks when I’m paid and when my bills are due. It has a column for every day of the month and a running total at the bottom of each day. That way, I can highlight which days of the month (right after car payment and rent usually) I will have the lowest balance – that way I always know how much “buffer”… Read more »
Matt
Matt
8 years 3 months ago

A good book on the subject of getting control over your daily finances is “Your Money or Your Life”, by Joe Dominguez. It completely changed the way I think about money. Some of his investment ideas are a little too conservative (i.e. T-bills), but his basic premise is sound.

passenger
passenger
8 years 3 months ago

my 50000+loan

kittycatpurr
kittycatpurr
8 years 3 months ago
@holly What Mark said. a) Sign up for online banking and online bill pay — I had irrational fears about this, but it ROCKS. You will be in tune with your current balance, it’s easy and saves time. b) Get a cheapy spiralbound notebook, a pencil, and use your ATM slips and debit card receipts to try and balance out your checking. You’re just trying to get yourself matched up with the online balance. When you forget, just pull the current balance online, and start again. This is a good reality check. And the low-key subtraction math helps me reflect… Read more »
B Smith @ Wealth and Wisdom
8 years 3 months ago
@Holly First thing is balance your checkbook to the penny. No excuses. Do it every week. You should never doubt how much money you have. Second: now that you know how much you have, never write a check unless the money is in the bank and the deposits have cleared. If you bounce one check it becomes an avalanche. I’ve had this happen back before I got my finances under control. Third: start building a buffer, a minimum balance. When I started it was $50. This grew over time. That way if you make a math error you are covered.… Read more »
adam
adam
8 years 3 months ago
FOOD! Nothin’ but… I believe in the old saying ‘garbage in, garbage out’ so taking care of my body is a top priority. Now my problem is how I buy and prepare food. I’m also an outdoor gear junkie, but over the years I have acquired most of the things I need. I’ll probably make 2-3 purchases a year for updates, upgrades and new things. Right now I’m saving for an ultralight solo tent. This is one area where I don’t buy anything cheap. Good quality gear can last a long time if it’s taken care of. Buying all your… Read more »
Matt
Matt
8 years 3 months ago

Dining out…I’m sloooooowly getting better about this, but of course I’m headed out tonight ; )

S
S
8 years 3 months ago

Concert tickets! There are a few artists that I think nothing of dropping $100 to see. Plus I go to tons of indie shows … ticket prices are cheaper than a movie but then you figure in parking (in Los Angeles) and eating out after, etc. It adds up. So what I do is have all my bills (and savings) automatically deducted very very early in the month (when I get paid) so the rest is food, gas and play money. I hate having to “budget” so automatic deductions are my best friends.

J
J
8 years 3 months ago
Kitchen appliances from craigslist… you’d think I own so much of it now but I’m always trolling for stuff. But I just can’t resist when I find a yogurt maker for $10! and then $5! I bought them both. And then a waffle machine for $8! And a mixer for $5! They’re all little, but they add up quick. At least I have some money deducted automatically for my savings, and this is money I don’t ever withdraw from my savings. But I can’t resist the used goods on craigslist. It’s hard not to look because you never know what’s… Read more »
Linnea Carlson
Linnea Carlson
8 years 3 months ago
Hey there, LOVE the Blog by the way.. I had a big problem with overdraft fees before too. My solution was too simple to admit that it took me this long to figure it out. I started keeping a check-book registry – the little log that balances the account. (Just like B. Smith) I finally realized that keeping a tally of my account was more accurate than the internet AND I had it with me always! Even the internet needs a couple days to update the info. I deducted checks out immediately even if they haven’t cleared yet, I knew… Read more »
Peggie
8 years 3 months ago

Right now I am not sure if it is eating out or gas prices! However, I can top your story on the overdraft fees. Before we married my husband averaged about 200 a MONTH in fees and wondered why he was falling behind. We are much better now that I have the check book!

Chief Family Officer
8 years 3 months ago

I like this story – your friend showed great judgment and understanding by suggesting she start with one manageable task.

As for me personally, impulse purchases – that’s always my weak point. It’s so hard to pass up a great deal!

Chris
Chris
8 years 3 months ago
I had that problem also. Occasionally, I’d deposit a check that ended up not clearing (tenants). Or I transferred money that was already set to autodraft. I admit it’d be great if I had a huge buffer but I don’t. And the rental house is an investment with risk. So I switched banks, went from Washington Mutual (who loves to tack on fees) to US Bank. US Bank (BTW I’m not affiliated) offers a personal reserve. It’s basically a credit account-light. You get a reserve of $500-$1000, whatever you qualify for. And whenever I overdraft my checking, it automatically withdraws… Read more »
trackback

[…] I Will Teach You To Be Rich » There’s one question to ask about $1,300 in overdraft fees (tags: money overdraft advice) […]

sassycajun
sassycajun
8 years 3 months ago
KIDS……being a divorced mother of two boys 16/10 on one salary makes it very difficult at times. No father relationship or financial contribution from him since he would rather drink/drug his money(his loss more than mine), and it seems like they always need something whether it be for school, school projects/field trips, schools sports, school sports banquets and gifts for the coaches, new clothes, school uniforms, SHOES, friends birthday parties, social outings for the teenager, the newest PS3 games, and the list goes on……….I do manage to have a home with lots of equity as well as a 403B I… Read more »
Jordan
8 years 3 months ago
My big problem in the past was letting little bills elude me. I’d get around to them eventually and some were charged off. Luckily it was not more than $1500. and I made it a priority to get my credit report and make a plan to pay them off all at once. They are still on my credit report but they are listed as paid and I made sure the companies made notes on my CR. It really helped my credit score a lot. Now I have great credit just handling that small about of debt. Great post. Focus on… Read more »
Deirdre
Deirdre
8 years 3 months ago

Personally I think in a case like this getting overdraft protection might be in order. Sure there are fees involved, but they are a lot less than the fees of overdrawn checks. Someone who is having problems dealing with their money issues is going to have a difficult time becoming a checkbook balancer overnight — I’m saying this from experience.

Helen
Helen
8 years 3 months ago

One big problem: I live like I make seven figures…but I make five.

evie
evie
8 years 3 months ago
Sassycajun – It seems more like your problem is your desire to “keep up with the Jones’s,” not the kids themselves. It’s admirable that you want to give your kids everything, but perhaps you can consider what is really valuable for them in the long run. Further to Nick’s comment, a forward-looking budget that anticipates the next month or two of expenses and income has been incredibly helpful for me. I keep mine in Excel as well, and track when I will pay each bill, estimate how often I get gas, groceries, etc. As time goes on, I replace the… Read more »
tari
tari
8 years 3 months ago

thanks so much for making me feel like at least I’m not alone in the overdraft fee world. Seems like once I got behind, I just couldn’t catch up. It amazes me that here I am saying that I can’t afford this or that (like savings or retirement) but yet I’m WASTING money EVERY MONTH on fees! It comes right down to “are you sick enough of it to really get serious about the problem?” Thanks for helping me get to that place?

Independent Financial Planner
8 years 3 months ago

The daily Starbucks habit, overdraft & late fees, driving when you could walk, shopping when you are bored or always finding a reason to defer signing up for your company retirement plan. They are all hinderances for people to get ahead…and for the record, doesn’t everyone know that bouncing a check is literally a crime?!

Personal Finance Online
8 years 3 months ago

The best way to avoid overdraft and bounced-check fees is to manage your account so you don’t overdraw it. I manage my finance when I start to have my own money on the bank.

topseekrit
8 years 3 months ago
I had overdraft fees galore too! I use my debit card for everything, so I had to call my bank (Wachovia) and did the following: 1. Send me an email notification for when my account goes below $200.00 so that I know not to spend any more from that account to avoid overdraft fees. 2. I also asked them that should I get down to $0, that to not allow the purchase to go through and decline it. 3. Sign-up for overdraft protection, I had a credit card I barely used that I forgot about it, and it has much… Read more »
alsingle
alsingle
8 years 3 months ago
I like the idea that focusing on one area of unnecessary spending like an overdraft fee may be less overwhelming for some folks than trying to tackle all of their financial issues at once. However, it’s not clear how much of her problem with overdraft fees is related to her overall financial situation. If she spends more than she is earning on a monthly basis to pay for her necessary living expenses, then it’s not going to be easy to tackle that problem. By the way, to everyone who thinks they have to give up lattes to be on a… Read more »
Rob M
Rob M
8 years 3 months ago

I use 2 methods to keep track of the expenses. One is my 1 – 31 list. An entry for every day of the month showing what is going in and what is coming out, ie Wages, Share Div/Interest, Mortgage, Car, Direct Deposits for the Electricity or Gas or Rates. The other things is a simple monthly reconcilliation list of all presented and unpresented cheques. The mental balance I always have of the cheque book is always the balance including all unpresented cheques – treat all cheques written as if they have been cashed on the spot.

Mac
Mac
8 years 3 months ago
Amazing how some people cannot use simple logic. They say things like “I have to bounce checks, I have no choice.” And yet, they made the choice earlier. They take their paycheck and the first thing they do is throw away at least 25% on the previous periods checking fees, starting off behind. First task – catch up all bills and build a small buffer. This may require a small temporary loan from a relative. Second task – respect your money. Plan its use. Some people hate the word budget. Just plan how to use your money, then stick to… Read more »
Parvinder Singh
8 years 3 months ago

(Mine is eating out too much.)
Get married Ramit 🙂

Kam
8 years 3 months ago

Who says getting married is going to get him warm homemade meals?

Rita Kay
Rita Kay
8 years 3 months ago

@ Kam

Getting married doesn’t necessarily guarantee homemade meals, but it is much easier to cook at home for 2 or more than it is for just one. When cooking for one, its all too easy to resort to eating out more, or eating frozen convenience foods, both of which are hard on the wallet, and the waistline.

Bob K
Bob K
8 years 3 months ago

I had a personal PO box across town for probably 15 years, yet lived in one place for 13 and have been working from my home for the last 5. Which means I’d been wasting close to $100 a year in box rental plus a gallon of gas and a 1/2 hour of time per visit, even if the box was empty. Looking back, that’s a lot to pay for unnecessary privacy.

Jonathan
8 years 3 months ago

Mine is also eating out too much. Some months I spend about $200 on eating out.

I’m good on everything else, at least. I don’t waste money on most things. Just eating out. I’ve gotten better though. 🙂

Eva
Eva
8 years 3 months ago

My tip — for god’s sake, stop living paycheck-to-paycheck. Get a great budget program called YNAB (You Need a Budget). I am not connected with the YNAB people in any way; I just have been using the program for 2 months and love it.

Cari
Cari
8 years 3 months ago

CASH… Use only cash exept when paying bills. Pay all bills first. Take out only the cash you can spend and don’t carry the check book or debit card. When this becomes habbit, no more overdraft fees. Viola`

xmasy
xmasy
8 years 3 months ago

i would break up with that girl.

my biggest problem is I dont know what to spend my money on. im a cheap bastard that 90% of my salary is saved every month without any efforts

xmasy
xmasy
8 years 3 months ago

I married an indian girl thinking i would get hot meals at home…i was wrong. indian girls have white friends and pick up fast on that.

jessemoya
8 years 3 months ago

I came in here to say the same thing the first commenter said. Um, but she’s not my spouse yet.

Shannan
8 years 3 months ago

Eating out is my big problem as well. I love grocery shopping, and home cooked meals are always better, but I seem to always fall to the convenience of the drive-thru or being served at a restaurant after a long day.

some guy
some guy
8 years 3 months ago
We had the same issue in my household only worse 2000 here for 07… wow frustrating, I tried yelling and that did not work, we talked and that did not work… it was basiclly poor planning and trying to bet on if the bank was going to cash a check to the grocery store for 100 before payday, and many times we had $ in my account she just would not let me know she might need extra… she would get upset when ever I tried to talk with her, but finally we have reached a point where we need… Read more »
Fuzz
Fuzz
8 years 3 months ago

Quit spending more $ than you have.

An amazing idea, I know.

You will quit overdrfting once you follow this advice.

xmasy
xmasy
8 years 3 months ago

The root of this problem is attitude. Thats it. I hope banks more money from people like this and recoup their losses and make their stock prices rise. I have a vested interest in citibank.

yvette
yvette
8 years 3 months ago

My new laptop… Can’t really afford it… Or my new sewing machine…

I also like throwing money into my reef aquarium.

trackback

[…] recent popular articles The 1 question to ask about $1,300 in overdraft fees Conscious Spending: How My Friend Spends $21,000/year Going Out The $28,000 Question: Why Are We […]

PJ
PJ
8 years 3 months ago
My one big problem is paying off the mistakes I made years ago. I have a large amount of debt, and while I am working full-time, and also own my own business, I still do not make very much money. I rarely go out or buy anything, but am always broke, just trying to pay off my debt. I also have child support to pay, which takes 25% of my income (which I get to pay tax on, but never actually see.) Every time I read about cutting down on expenses, it’s always things I’ve already cut out. I don’t… Read more »
Rich
Rich
8 years 3 months ago

Answer to bank fees – use CASH!!!

Michelle
Michelle
8 years 3 months ago

coffee….and eating out

CURTIS
CURTIS
8 years 3 months ago

MY SPOUSE also she donesn’t want to balnce a checkbook I don’t even think she knows how and every checking account we have had together has been closed due to isf shes crazy

Damian
Damian
8 years 3 months ago
If your going to go in the red…take out a bunch of money at one time and get just one overdraft fee. I have been trying to teacj my mother-n-law this for a couple years now. Still doesn’t get it. How about over $2000 on OD fess last year, in addition to the daily fee that is imposed for being in the red. It’s so irritating to see someoen get a $29 OD fee….for a $3.00 purchase. I’ve turned my finances around…just takes discipline. I use excel and log all bills in there…I keep a running total month by month…… Read more »
Jerry Dill
8 years 3 months ago

My problem is going for a more expensive alternative when a lower priced option is just as good and costs less. For instance I have to have organic food. It costs nearly twice as much as the other food, yet its pretty much the same thing. We all have our little addictions.

:)
:)
8 years 3 months ago

@xmasy

My wife made it clear I didn’t make the same misjudgement: I am the one tasked with cooking. 😛

MoneyBlogga
8 years 3 months ago

My biggest problems are high interest rate mortgages that are eating everything alive and causing my credit scores to plummet so that I can’t refinance even if I wanted to. Which I do. But can’t.

Julia
Julia
8 years 3 months ago
I used to have that problem with overdraft fees and then I started to spend less and put everything on a credit card (no overdraft fees plus I earn interest on the money sitting in my checking account). When you make about as much money as you spend, looking at your bank statement and seeing all those silly purchases helps you to realize you’re wasting money on stuff that doesn’t matter. Then I started sinking money into keeping my car running. I took a year off from school and saved to buy a newer one which has been pretty reliable.… Read more »
Kate Tracy
Kate Tracy
8 years 3 months ago

My big problem: I don’t bring in enough income each month. I am an independant contractor who is going back to school to complete my BS, and I have one more year to go. I have streamlined my spending a lot, but I still just don’t bring in enough cash each month to start building a savings. It drives me crazy! I don’t have the large amounts of OD fees, but twice a month, I get really close.

Jennifer
8 years 2 months ago
Before I got married, we went out to eat some, but after we bought our house, we began cooking at home almost every night. And you think this will save you money?? Fortunately, we already owned all the kitchen apparatus and an extensive cookbook library. But have you ever shopped for quality ingredients? If you’re making anything interesting, it costs a small fortune! Also, I defy anyone to go to the grocery store for one or two ingredients and not leave having spent $50. My greatest weakness? Buying stuff to make things. I knit, sew, quilt, spin fiber, dye yarn,… Read more »
Ryan
Ryan
8 years 2 months ago
I found the best way for me to deal with my budgeting problems (overdraft fees and having no idea where the little money I had went) was to install a personal finance program on my blackberry. Since I’m a Crackberry its actually mildly entertaining entering withdrawals and deposits along with other info. My Blackberry is more current than my bank account as I use my debit card for most purchases. Previously I would check my account online to be told I had “X” amount available, then I would spend “Y” amount. I would then find out a “Z” transaction had… Read more »
KCDesi
KCDesi
8 years 2 months ago

I am surprised many didnt know about the overdraft protection for your checking account. If you have both checking and saving account with same bank, this should be a no brainer.

KCDesi

rmark
rmark
8 years 2 months ago
I cook, my wife doesn’t. Although its really more of a defensive measure on my part. She has cooked in the past with negative results. As far as cash management, I’ve always kept a base amount in the checking accout to avoid overdrafts due to minor errors, plus keep a list of what is due at the start of each pay period (and another list of what has been charged on credit cards over that previous period) so I can be sure all bills have been paid on time. The first name on the list is Vanguard, so the investing… Read more »
Jason
Jason
8 years 2 months ago
I have to say the best things I have ever done financially are: 1. Getting a grasp on my own checking account. 2. Avoid carrying cash or pulling money from the ATM unless it’s absolutely necessary. 3. Start investing I had a habit of using my debit card all week and then wondering where the heck it all went. I setup a simple Excel spreadsheet and kept every receipt. Each night I sit down for 5 minutes and enter every transaction into the Excel log. Once a week (if not more) I login to my online banking to make sure… Read more »
jflo
jflo
7 years 10 months ago
As for the overdraft fees – switch to a credit union and get a checking account that has overdraft protection. Credit unions (at least in my experience) charge fewer fees, and overdraft protection just hits you with an interest charge rather than a $40 fee. Since I work at a nonprofit, am aggressively paying down debt (credit card debt will be gone this month!), and am trying to save, I am paycheck to paycheck in a sense. Those times when I go a couple of dollars over just before the next paycheck comes in, I end up paying a dollar… Read more »
Mary
Mary
7 years 10 months ago

Just found out I will have $300 in overdrafts by midnight tonight even though the money was deducted just after I had deposited a hefty sum into my account. Has this ever happened to anyone: Overdraw the account, make deposit within hours of the overdraw, and then get charged NSF fees immediately after the deposit?

Cat.Miller
Cat.Miller
7 years 9 months ago
First off, I’m new to the “personal finance blog reader” game, and I love your site. I’ve bookmarked several articles to read over and over, as my brain starts aching if I think about finance too much in one sitting 🙂 In regards to this topic, I’ve had my fair share of overdraft fees over the past few years. I do silly things, like buy stuff that I definitely don’t need, and then I get to pay much more to my bank. I’m sure that my bank just loves me. [sigh] Anyway, my spending weakness is for Japanese stationery and… Read more »
phillygrrl
7 years 8 months ago

Love the blog as well. I find my biggest problem is also going out. You get a round of drinks for friends and you’re easily looking at $100 every other Saturday night.

Sean
7 years 8 months ago

I know this is late, but I found that after I opened a business bank account, my personal account turned into a business owner’s free checking, which made it so that i never get overdraft fees, or pay interest on the fees either.

I have since become much more financially stable, but there was a time when I was definitely overdrafting my account frequently, and it was pretty irresponsible. Opening the business owner’s account meant that I never had to pay that money again.

Earl
Earl
1 month 6 days ago

Track your spending Whether you use a spreadsheet or a tool like Geltbox money . If you don’t know where your money goes, it can be difficult to find opportunities to save. Keep track of your spending habits to help identify areas where you can cut expenses.

wpDiscuz