Bank fees: just when you thought they couldn't get any sneakier

Over the years, I've been hit by every bank fee imaginable: overdraft fees, non-sufficient funds and, of course, I've been ensnared in the vast matrix of ATM fees. I'm not proud of this. I think it just comes with the territory, when you're a freelance writer, or freelance anyone, and you're not paid regularly. Sometimes there are cash flow problems.

We had one last weekend, as my wife discovered when she tried to take out $20 out of our bank account. She was denied. (One of the lovely side benefits of blogging about personal finance is getting to shred myself of any humility. Yes, that's right; our account had less than $20 in it.) As it turns out, my wife tried to take the $20 from an ATM that wasn't part of the ATM network that our bank belongs to, and so a message flashed on the screen reading: "You're broke, and now move on, so we can get a customer with deeper pockets than you."

(Well, maybe those weren't the exact words, but you get the idea.)