Picture this – you’re on vacation, enjoying the sun and sand, or maybe the snow, in some foreign land. You brought some cash with you but you need more so you go to the ATM and withdraw some spending money. Everything seems to be in good order. Then you get home and realize your bank charged you $5.00 for the privilege of withdrawing that money! And since you were gone for a while, and had to make multiple withdrawals, these transactions really added up. I know I’ve been hurt by this before. When I went backpacking for three months in 2010, I spent over $100 on foreign ATM fees to withdraw money throughout my trip. The kicker – had I done some research, this could have been entirely avoidable! In today’s post, I’m going to compare the foreign ATM fees charged by all the big five Canadian banks, and highlight a few alternative options as well. With a little insight and planning, you can go abroad and spend your money the right way – enjoying your trip!
I’m a big fan of a podcast called Radiolab. Hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, every week they tackle one big concept – like time, sleep, or identity – and they talk about it for about an hour. Its extremely engaging and never uninteresting. And it was while listening to an episode about zoos, yes that’s right, zoos, that they touched upon a fascinating concept that can be related back to society, lifestyle, money and happiness. You see, at some level, we are all just animals in a cage.
As people find increasing opportunities to be frugal, I hear more and more stories about people who advocate price shopping when it comes time to buy anything. What do I mean by price shopping? I mean shopping at the place that offers the product you want at the lowest price. In some cases, where you are making a one-time purchase such as an electronic device, this can make sense. But, in the case of buying groceries, going to multiple grocery stores to take advantage of sales on different items is a complete waste of time and resources.