Protecting yourself from Overdraft and Bounced Check Fees

The situation in the UK is a little different than the USA because bank fees have become something of a political issue.

Many people are refusing to pay their bank fees and taking the banks through the small claims court- approximately one million cases are in progress (from a country of just fifty two million!)so almost everyone knows someone who is in the process of doing so.

If you have paid fees in the last year or so and come from the UK then you may wish to look into this.

To avoid paying the fees in the first place you should always keep far more cash at hand than you think you will need. Keep a separate savings account with a months worth of living expenses within it, but try to forget that it is there or you will organize things in such a way as to draw on it!

This may sound very obvious (or impossible!) but you will never be able to relax until it is done.

In the mean time try to reduce your monthly outgoings. Most people try to deal with cash flow problems by earning more money- this may help in the longer term but it is hard to do anythig effective in the shorter term.

The fewer dired debits and regular bills you have, the less chance there is of one bouncing. If you have a mobile on a monthly tarrif, try to change it for a phone on a pay as you go basis.

Make a list of when your bills are paid and try to change the payment date to come just after you are paid. This will alow you to relax for the remainder of the month safe in the knowlage you have managed to pay your bills this month. It will also prevent any illusion that you are richer than you are which may lead to over spending.

Financial crisis has almost nothing to do with your income (unless you are below the breadline). This is the hardest thing to grasp. I know people who earn vastly more than me who lurch form crisis to crisis.

Keeping your morale up is also important. If you ged depressed you will tend to spend. Try to pay off at least one bill or card completely each month. Cutting up these cards may become more pleasant than spending money and this will motivate you further.

Take pleasure in small things. There are many free activities and the more of these you can take advantage the less will become the call of the shopping mall.

Good luck and be strong. There are no debtors prisons any more so do not let it worry you.