Conquer your fee frustrations with money mindfulness

Every day millions of Australians are feeling the frustration of paying fees and charges they think are unfair. Monthly bank account fees, credit card surcharges, travel and entertainment booking fees are some of those nasty charges that sting Australians. But when it comes to the fee we hate the most, we’ve discovered with the help of Galaxy Research that it’s ATM fees that top the list*.

So how can we conquer the seemingly inevitable fee frustration? We spoke with psychologist Amanda Gordon who gave us her tips on managing fee frustration and the benefits of practicing money mindfulness.

Why is it so important to practice money mindfulness?

Feelings of resentment about fees can impact our ability to deal with stress in other aspects of our lives. Think of it like that old saying, ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’.  Stress builds up and if we don’t understand where it’s coming from, it can become overwhelming and result in you snapping at your partner or experiencing road rage! Practicing money mindfulness means becoming conscious of your spending and taking control of your finances.

Mindfulness Tip #1: Find the area you spend money on the most – whether it’s food or clothing – and keep track of it over the course of a week. After that, write down three goals you want to achieve for the week ahead that allow you to reduce spending in that specific area.

What are some of the benefits of practicing money mindfulness?

Practicing money mindfulness can allow us to break bad habits. The research shows that only one in three Australians are willing to switch banks to stop paying ATM fees altogether. That fits with what we know about human behaviour and bad habits – once formed, they’re very hard to break.  We need to become aware of what we’re doing, stop following that same well-worn path without thinking, and actually notice where our money is going.

Mindfulness Tip #2: Aim to have a “no spend” day. It draws attention to your daily second-nature spending habits and also puts emphasis on what you are actually spending your money on.

How can Australians conquer fee frustrations?

We can’t always escape fees altogether, but we can get ahead by reducing unnecessary fees and changing the way we feel about unavoidable fees. Some tips include:

  • Reduce travel fees by pre-purchasing luggage before you go; or pack lighter and take the necessities in your carryon luggage.
  • Take control of how you feel about paying unavoidable fees. Instead of thinking about buying a $200 concert ticket, accept that the cost of the ticket is actually $207 when you include the booking fee.

*Australia’s Top 10 most Hated Fees:

  1. ATM fees
  2. Bank monthly account fees
  3. Booking fees for events and tickets
  4. Credit card surcharge fees
  5. Credit card annual fee
  6. Travel fees (eg airline booking fees)
  7. Fee for receiving a paper statement by mail
  8. Charge to use public toilets
  9. Road toll charges
  10. Late payment fees

*Top five fees Australians accept:

  1. Wifi fees
  2. Restaurant service charges
  3. Mobile data roaming charges
  4. Parking meter fees
  5. Currency conversion fees

*Research conducted by Galaxy Research on behalf of ING DIRECT in March 2016 and comprised an online poll of over 1,000 respondents

ING DIRECT offers cash out at any ATM in Australia without the nuisance of being charged ATM fees. To be eligible, you’ll need to open an Orange Everyday bank account and deposit your pay ($1,000+ each month) from an external bank account to use every ATM in Australia for free the following month. The deposit can be made to any personal ING DIRECT account in your name (excluding Living Super). Under the offer, the ATM fee charged by the ATM operator is rebated immediately following the transaction. The offer may be changed or withdrawn for all customers at any time at ING DIRECT’s sole discretion.

If you’d like to find out how you can practice money mindfulness and avoid ATM fees, talk to us today on 133 464.

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