Two Lessons I Learned After Getting 9 Overdraft Fees

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Have you ever had that experience of logging into your bank account only to realize you have an overdraft fee?

What about nine overdraft fees?

Yep…it happened to me.

Thankfully it was a while ago, 2004 to be exact. Here’s what happened.

I had written a large check to someone, but they failed to cash it promptly. After several weeks, I completely forgot about it. It finally hit my account on a Friday afternoon, resulting in an overdraft. Consequently, every transaction throughout the entire weekend (gas, Starbucks, Rudy’s, etc) created another overdraft charge.

I checked my account on Monday after my card got denied, and to my horror I discovered nine overdraft charges at $33 bucks a pop. Ouchy.

I learned two valuable (and expensive) lessons from my overdraft fees fiasco.

1. You Have Not Because You Ask Not

Just a few months before this, I was at a real estate conference where I heard Tim Velor say…

In life, you don’t get what you deserve. You get what you ask for.

So I decided to ask. I went to the local branch of my bank and asked for mercy. To my surprise, they had some. They waived four of the overdraft fees. But the lady I spoke with stated I would have to call corporate to get any more fees waived.

So I called…and asked…and magically they waived four more.

All in all my $297 in overdraft fees was reduced to just one fee of $33, which I felt was more than fair given the circumstances. Turns out God was right after all…you have not because you ask not.

2. Don’t Play The Victim Card!

Who’s fault was it for the overdraft fees? Mine!!

I went into the bank with a humble attitude, took responsibility for the fees, and was amazed at how much grace people wanted to extend to me. I have a hunch that if I’d gone into with a “how dare you do this to me?” attitude I would have ended up paying more.

That said…are you playing the victim card right now in your situation? Who are you blaming for your situation? The bank? The government? The economy? All of these are outside of your control, so why are you giving them the responsibility for your well-being? Whatever your situation is, own it. Even if you didn’t cause it you have the power to change it.

So now if you ever have the pleasure of an overdraft fee in the future, you know what to do! Or better yet, just learn to manage your money so that you avoid them all together!

Dedicated to your freedom,

-Wesley

Comments: Let me know if you have had any experiences were just “asking” opened the door to something unexpected for you!

2 Responses to “Two Lessons I Learned After Getting 9 Overdraft Fees”

  1. Juliana Says:

    That is so true! I used to be so afraid of asking for grace when I messed up or needed more time on a bill, but most businesses have “grace” money built into their system. That combined with God’s favor helped me to from a place of constant struggle into a place of abundance.

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  2. Wesley Says:

    Thanks Juliana! I wish I could say that was the only time I had to ask for mercy from a financial institution…maybe I learned to do it well from lots of practice in my 20’s. One though on asking that I didn’t get into much in the article is just making it a way of life….never paying retail but learning that if you always ask for a discount you will usually get one just for asking. It’s powerful way to save money and for me personally, get over some fears.

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