Nothing gets under the skin of a savvy consumer like unwarranted and unwanted fees.
The Web site GoBankingRates.com has put together a list of the “31 Worst Fees in America,” listing some of the most egregious fees out there, as well as tips on two avoid them. The list includes 11 banking fees, 10 travel fees, and handful of fees from other categories such as health care and cell phones.
“At the bank, while traveling, or just when going about your daily business, fees are on the rise in seemingly all industries—and not just in quantity, but in price,” writes author Paul Sisolak. “Many times, they’re so well obscured that you end up paying fees without realizing it.”
The good news is that in most cases, there’s an easy fix for the fees: Avoid bank teller fees, for example, by using remote deposit and ATMs; and steer clear of ATM fees by using your bank’s app to find the nearest in-network machine.
While bank fees may be rising, the institutions are getting better about being transparent in disclosing them. More than 60 percent of the banks reviewed last week by The Pew Charitable Trusts have adopted a summary disclosure box of terms and fees that meets the organization’s standards, up from just 25 percent in 2013.
When it comes to avoiding fees while traveling, pack light to avoid overweight bag charges and call ahead of time to get a sense of Wi-Fi and other hotel/resort fees.
President Trump announced on Thursday the creation of a National Council for the American Worker, charged with developing “a national strategy for training and retraining workers for high-demand industries,” his daughter Ivanka wrote in The Wall Street Journal. A report from the president’s National Council on Economic Advisers earlier this week made it clear that the U.S. currently spends less public money on job programs than many other developed countries.
Most business economists in the U.S. expect the economy to keep chugging along over the next three months, with rising corporate sales driving additional hiring and wage increases for workers.
The tax cuts, however, don’t seem to be playing a role in hiring and investment plans. And the trade conflicts stirred up by the Trump administration are having a negative influence, with the majority of economists at goods-producing firms who replied to the most recent survey by the National Association for Business Economics saying that their companies were putting investments on hold as they wait to see how things play out.
The Republican tax bill signed into law late last year imposed a 21 percent tax on employees at non-profits who earn more than $1 million a year. According to data from the Chronicle of Higher Education cited by Bloomberg, there were 12 presidents of public universities who received compensation of at least $1 million in 2017, with James Ramsey of the University of Louisville topping the list at $4.3 million. Endowment managers could also get hit with the tax, as could football coaches, some of whom earn substantially more than the presidents of their institutions.
The federal budget deficit rose by 16 percent in the first nine months of the 2018 fiscal year, which began last October. The shortfall came to $607 billion, compared to $523 billion in the same period the year before, according to a U.S. Treasury report released Thursday and reported by Bloomberg. Both revenue and spending rose, but spending rose faster. Revenues came to $2.54 trillion, up 1.3 percent from the same nine-month period in 2017, while spending came to $3.15 trillion, up 3.9 percent.