This week and last we asked you about your job and you responded with a flurry of calls. Takeaway listeners told us stories about loving and hating their jobs, having to relocate to find work, taking second and third jobs, and having to cut their own pay as small business owners. The economy may be improving, but many Americans are still struggling to make ends meet.
Many banks charge a fee if a minimum balance isn't maintained in a checking account. Frequently this is calculated in terms of an "average daily balance", a running total of where an account holder stands every day in maintaining that minimum average. But no bank provides a way for account holders to track it themselves, nor provide the metric they use. And, as The New York Times has noted, banks frequently don't calculate the average until the end of the month.
In the aftershocks of the financial crisis and with billions of dollars flying in stimulus, TARP, and other tools, have you been left wondering where your bailout is? Takeaway contributor, Beth Kobliner has gotten that question a lot: she's the author of “Get a Financial Life.”
Buyer beware: your bank may be trying to protect its revenue stream in the face of increased government scrutiny by adding unnecessary fees to financial instruments like your debit card. A report in today's New York Times says banks are beginning to aggressively market products like automatic overdraft protection fees. Without these fees, banks stand to lose some $20 billion annually.