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Bank Rates

After posting yesterday’s best of: Free Banking post, I received my monthly balance sheet from the bank for my bank account, and dutifully I went into Quicken and ran my monthly reconcile of my chequing account. At the end of the document from the bank it had this very interesting statement:

You have saved $72.50 in Service Charges this month

I beg your pardon? The statement reflect that if I was paying for the $12.95 a month TD program, that I might not be paying for right now, I have saved $72.50. If I was gouged for $73 in bank service charges for a month, I’d start putting my money in a mattress or carrying it around in my shoe.

Then I started to wonder is there anyone out there who actually pays that much a month to the banks? I really hope that is not the case, as you saw yesterday, I think it’s ridiculous to pay $13 a month, $73 a month would be highway robbery. What services could be worth that much?

  • Tellers deliver money directly to my house?
  • Bank Manager drops by and helps clean out my garage for the spring?
  • FREE MONEY! (two words I love to see)
  • Interest payments that amount to more than a single bus ticket in value?

Given none of those services are offered by my branch of TD, my guess is those service charges of $73 are fiction, since no one would pay it, would they?

This is why I invest in banks.

Snow and Flooding

With the snow pack in Ottawa disappearing the flood planes of Ottawa are filling up quickly. My area of Ottawa is less likely to flood, however, I am not that far from the Mighty Jock River so there is a chance yet.

How much does flood insurance cost? What does it cover? Is it better to just invest in a sump pump? I have a good shop vac for small wet spills, but if my basement floods, I would have to run to Canadian Tire to get a real pump!

Is flood insurance worthwhile? Opinions?

Feel Free to Comment

  1. Where is the flood plain in Ottawa? I’m moving there in the summer and would like to avoid it, or at least be aware of the risks.

  2. on the bank fees topic:

    my wife and I currently use PC and a cash-back creditcard, but, a while back we started using our TD debit account a lot more than usual. This led to a whopping bank fee of ~$25 for one month (since we had been on the cheapest plan, which charges a lot per transaction once we made more than 10 transactions). Someone from the bank called us early the following month to recommend we switch account plans… a nice gesture, suggesting they weren’t out to gouge us (though it would’ve been nice to get the call a few days earlier so we could change plans before the end of the month).

    Anyway, we’re a lot more financially savvy now than we were then. Our current fees are basically nil.

  3. Good of them to do that, but all of these service charges astound me, and then if you use “White” banking machines there are charges on top of charges, which are even more amazing!

    As for flood insurance, sounds like insurance you get only if you live in the desert (dessert?).


  4. Whether flood insurance is worthwhile depends on two major factors:

    1) Whether you can actually get it;
    2) How much you’ll have to fork over to get it.

    Typically, people who are eligible for flood insurance are people that don’t live in flood-prone areas. If you live on or near a floodplain, then that isn’t you.

    You can always call up an insurance broker and see what they can tell you, but if you aren’t eligible, then you’re out of luck. Alternatively, you might be eligible, but the cost might be prohibitive.

    Far cheaper flood insurance can be had by doing “insurance” activities to minimize your risk. Re-grading the area around your home so that the ground slopes away from your house is a good start, as is installation of a sump pump. A backwater valve on your sewer pipe can also prevent sewer backups, but it’ll cost a few grand to get a plumber to install it.

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