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The $95.40 Phone Call

I called my bank, Wachovia, regarding a monthly charge I was receiving for using the Quicken software. It was called a “Personal Finance Software Monthly Service Fee.”

To be honest with you, I don’t understand why they charge a fee for using some other vendor’s software, but so be it. I barely used my Wachovia bank account so month after month I was charged $5.95 for Quicken. Additionally, because of the type of account I had I was charged $2 per month because I didn’t have direct deposit.

My checking account was one of Wachovia’s old accounts called an Express Account. I don’t think they even offer that type of account anymore. Anyway, one day after downloading my account information I finally took the time to call Wachovia to cancel out the Personal Finance Software Wachoviafee. With today’s economy a person has to save money wherever she can. Saving $5.95 a month is saving $71.40 a year. It’s better to have $71.40 in my pocket than placing it in someone else’s pocket (namely Wachovia bank).

Asking the Question

Wachovia’s Express Checking Account charged a $2 monthly fee for account holders not using direct deposit. Since I’m a freelance writer and don’t have a traditional job nor do I collect a traditional paycheck, it’s tough to satisfy the direct deposit requirement in order to have the $2.00 monthly bank fee waived. Just for grins, I thought I’d ask, while I still had the Wachovia customer service rep on the phone, whether or not my PayPal transfers into my Wachovia account can count as direct deposit. After all, that’s how I get paid.

Although my PayPal couldn’t cut the mustard as far as waiving the fee, the customer service rep explained that I could transfer my existing account to a free checking account. I could retain the same bank account number, the same debit card and keep my reward points. The only thing that would change is the type of checking account I had. It was now one that didn’t charge a monthly fee.

Ask the question

The Only Dumb Question is the Unasked Question

I knew that the PayPal account wouldn’t qualify as a direct deposit account, but I had to ask the question. By asking the question I managed to up my monthly savings from $5.95 to $7.95 a month (that’s $95.40 a year). Another pleasant feature about the Wachovia account is that they pay a one to one bonus reward. For every dollar I spend using my debit card as a credit card, I earn a dollar in bonus rewards. Now that I’ve erased all of the monthly fees, I might start using my Wachovia account more often.

The moral of the story, ask questions, even if you think you already know the answer.

That’s my 2 cents and I’m sticking with it.

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