Friday, 9 September 2011

Bank Fees, Paper, School, and Waste

I had great plans for this week, but, alas, even with Lily at school, my schedule still wasn’t my own. (sigh) It’s how it is some weeks. (Notice I didn’t say “days.”) I had plans for more humor. Instead, I’m bitching again. Hopefully, with a little humor this fine Friday morning. (g)

This post was meant to be coupled with this one. It’s a nice little addendum, I think. Although the way my thoughts are going right now, humor has fled the vicinity. I apologize in advance.

So, I’ve cleaned out a lot of excess paper--in every bank statement was an extra page, sometimes with nothing on it except my account number, of course. That means I have to shred it, right? (Another thing to shred. Yay! I’m so excited. snort) Amongst all of this extra, unneeded paper was a list of fees. As I do only what I have to at the bank, I’ve never paid much attention to the fees beyond the monthly one. However, after seeing it more than a few times, I started to take notice of them. Boy, was I surprised. (I shouldn’t have been knowing what I do about banks, but I was.)

Beyond the monthly fee, of which you have to keep a balance of $1 million a day in order to avoid (yes, I’m exaggerating, but it’s not far from the truth some months), if you bring in rolls of coins, they will charge you fifteen cents/roll to deposit. (D.E.P.O.S.I.T. One would think they’d glad to get your money, but no we pay for the privilege to keep our money there.)If you deposit checks at the teller, it’s $2. Funds transfers are $25 each, or I would use them for my authors, editors, etc. In the last statement, another page was included stating that they had made an error and a policy was changing. The monthly fee was no longer waived if you had automatic deposits. (Read: too many of you have this, and we aren’t making enough money off of you even with all of the other fees, one of which is for breathing in our presence. Okay, maybe not the last one, but it sure seems like it.)

Just another way to squeeze anyone who uses a bank. And how can you possibly do business, or even live, without using one? This after we bailed them out. (Whatever happened to that money, anyway? Supposedly, a good portion of it was paid back, but it hasn’t seemed to make a difference in our every day lives, has it.)

Now, this paper is everywhere. I spend half my time getting rid of paper I don’t want. The banks and credit card companies are constantly sending me offers for things I’m not interested in. Paper of which I have to shred at least part of it because, call me paranoid, but I won’t throw a credit card application with my name on it or that invitation number. It has to be shredded. I seem to get at least one of these every day the post office delivers. How many trees die for these stupid offers? If I want another credit card, I will find it myself. Oh, and I don’t ever use those advance checks they send with every credit card statement. More money spent; more trees cut down; more paper I have to shred; more wasted time.

It’s a vicious cycle.

And now the school is in on it. The first day Lily came home, there was so much paper my dining room table, which was clean and lovely, is now full of paper that I don’t know what to do with. Most of it will end up in the recycle bin, some of it I need, but really, you have to send home that much paper? I have to sign how many forms? And one of the forms says that parent and child agrees to the dress code, the behavioral code, the discrimination code, etc., without including all of these codes. Well, yes, I got it last year. I don’t need the whole packet again, right? Sure, but has any of it changed? Or is it all the same? And, if you want to save paper, why not include a link to the packet so I can review it online? Honestly, I don’t know if I kept it. (There’s too much paper in my house as it is. I don’t need more!) I’m not signing anything until I read it.

Anyone else drowning in paper, tired of bank fees, and just want the waste to stop besides me?

18 comments:

Patricia said...

Yeah, Marci, one of my pet peeves as well - too much paper and too many trees being cut down for a bunch of "crap" that is sent to us beyond our control. I enjoyed something that happened to me the other day. We are in the middle of refinancing our house and lo and behold, the realtor sent us papers in an e-mail and i was able to sign some of them by acknowledging having received them. I thought, hey, why can't we do that for even WAY less important things that we just HAVE to sign, right?

Faith said...

As I was wading through school papers sent home with my first grader, I found a form on the back of a packet that I had to sign. Then I remembered the same form sent home a few days ago. That one I signed and sent back, but because the form was buried in a packet, it had been missed.

Once my older kids (and now my 13 yr old) were old enough to copy stuff, I filled out one set of forms for the youngest at the time and made the older ones use that set to fill out theirs, then I just went through and signed and dated everything. I had to do something because for stacks of pure bullsh** to fill out over and over and over and...pant pant...was a bit much.

Anthology Authors said...

That's what I mean, Patricia. I'd be okay downloading the agreement to my computer in PDF format and just signing it electronically. And all of the same paperwork I filled out last time. The doctor has changed, but everything else is the same. Why do I have to redo it every year? Why can't they just send me an email asking me if anything has changed and allow me to respond yea or nay? They could send the document only if I need to change something.

I also wonder if the old information is shredded or just thrown away for anyone to get into. Hm...

Anthology Authors said...

The amount of paperwork is unbelievable, isn't it, Faith. This is where the money goes. The man hours and amount it must cost to print all of this could be better spent. Luckily, I only have one, or I'd be doing the same thing.

Jennifer Wilck said...

Yep, we get a ton of forms here too. I love the ones that require you to fill out one per child, even if there are no changes and even if they're in the same school. And my personal faves are the ones that you have to fill out EVEN IF YOU DON'T WANT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF WHAT THEY'RE OFFERING--LIKE SPECIAL SCHOOL INSURANCE OR DISCOUNT MEALS OR WHATEVER. Our school supposedly went paperless, but their definition is apparently different from mine, since I'm still getting paper.

As for shredding, I do the same as you, but I give it to the kids to shred. For some reason, they like doing it

Anthology Authors said...

My daughter loves shredding, too, Jennifer, when she's not distracted with something else. LOL

Yeah, why do they need one for each child? Does not make sense. They can't have a file for the entire family, and then folders within the file so you don't have to duplicate everything? Oh, wait! That's too logical. Heaven forbid we use real logic. (g)

Marci

Cassie Exline said...

My pet peeve at my bank is the lobby closes at 5 p.m. on Friday night and no lobby hours on Saturday. That does not make any sense.

HeWhoMustObey said...

Don't get me started! (g)

Anthology Authors said...

Cassie,

One of the bank locations has their ATMs enclosed behind glass doors before you enter the lobby. (Yes, you have to go through two sets of doors to get in.) Once the doors are locked, you have to use your card and pin to get in. I didn't know this one morning and wanted to get a $20. Not being able to get in, I went over to Pavilions, bought some water, and got cash back. Little did I know that doing that was considered using another bank's ATM. They charged me $2 to do it. This same bank encourages you to use your debit card to make purchases. Um, why would I do that? Especially if they are going to charge me to do it.

Um, no. Thank you. I'll pass.

Anthology Authors said...

Oh, come on, he who must obey. It's fun. (g)

Marci

Mary Corrales said...

My bank charges me $6 dollars for not depositing a certain amount into my account every month. Yep, god forbid I keep money from my checks for myself.

Nita Wick said...

As for the banking stuff - Find a credit union instead of a bank. Credit unions are "not for profit" organizations. (Not non-profit. But any profits made are invested in the credit union to provide additional services or returned to the members.)

As for the school stuff - What always ticked me off was that I had to fill out all that paperwork but the info NEVER got updated in the school records. Although I filled out new paperwork yearly, my work phone was listed incorrectly in the school's computers for about 6 years. AND - my youngest is now a sophomore in college. So why does the school system still have their automatic phone system call me to tell me that schools are closed for inclement weather?

Ray said...

Until junk mail companies got smart requiring postage to return their ads I used to use their postage paid envelopes or postcards back to them with no return address. Once I got so angry I placed a rock in the return envelope.

So far my bank doesn't charge me for the use of my ATM card for cash back. They stick it to the merchants. There is a mini mart within walking distance. The owner told me that If I use my card for a $3 purchase he has to pay the card company more than $3.

I have opted for total electronic bank statements. I do not trust the post office. I check my account summary daily. I get photo copies of my cleared checks that I download to my computer.

I think of bankers as master criminals. If not for their scams we would not be in a jobless economy.

My urologist belongs to a healthcare company that sends email with lab results and takes Rx refill requests by email and then sends the request by phone to the pharmacy. On Oct 1 the doctors are getting out of Sentera and going into private practice. So instead of getting an email telling me when I can make an appointment for my next followup will be by postcard. I hope there still is a postal service by then. Lab results will be forwarded by snail mail if I don't go into the electronic system by the end of the month.

Banks will never improve until Congress stops taking bribes.

Ray

Decadent Publishing said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anthology Authors said...

Nita,

We do have an account at a credit union, but the issue for me with the business banking is convenience. On a good day at the right hour, you can get to the closest branch in 15 minutes through town. At a regular time, you're looking at 30. It's just might be worth it, though. I'll have to take a look at their options. Currently, my bank is right across the street from the post office. When you have checks to deposit, that is mighty convenient.

Ray, you are right, but it's not just banks. There are too many bribes running Washington and not enough "we the people."

Janice said...

I've been signing up for paperless billing and even my bank has paperless bank statements now.

But it doesn't stop the junk mail from coming. That would really save a whole forest.

Janice~

Tarah Scott said...

Same here on school paper. And god forbid you forget to sign one. The kids get yelled at and demerits for forgetting their 'homework.'

As for the bank. Yowsa! Sounds like it's time for a new bank. We have several here in NY who sell their services based on no fees if you have automatic deposit. Plus, at B of A where I bank, I have an e-commerce acct, and have no fees as a result.

Jaime Samms said...

No school paper for us, thank goodness. We are the school. after all. But there are tones (almost literally) of art projects made at the kitchen table and hanging in three-four layers on the front door. So I went to the secondhand shop yesterday and but a bunch of $2.00 used frames to put the best stuff in and the girl has found a site on line that shows how to make paper beads and baskets out of the rest. Looks cool. Yet another art project, but it's recycling the old stuff into something potentially useful...right? Let's hope so.

I'm not going to cmment on the banks. They make me angry. 'nuff said.