Make sure you always check your bank statement and be aware of fees charged by your bank. With all the regulations that went into place after the banking and savings fiasco, there are a lot of fees now. When you receive a notice in the mail about changes, make sure you review it for all the added charges.
And if you are paying a monthly fee for a checking account, change banks. That's an added and unnecessary monthly cost. Check Bankrate.com.
Fees to look out for:
1. The banks used to automatically return cancelled checks with the statements. If your bank is still doing this and you're paying a fee for it, discontinue the service. You should be able to get a copy of your check printed on your monthly statement.
2. Insufficient funds. Make sure you keep a balance to cover you or sign up to have any insufficient funds taken from your savings account (overdraft protection). There will be a smaller charge if it's deducted from your savings.
3. Overdraft fees
4. ATM charges. Check beforehand to see which ATMs you can use free of charge.
5. If you have a free checking account make sure you comply with their criteria to keep it free. It could be direct deposit or keeping a certain balance.
If you have unexpected fees, call the bank, they may be willing to remove the fees if it's a first time "offense."