How in the world am I supposed to save money when banks charge tons of moolah and make me go through so much hassle just so I can receive MY money?!
This is what happened: I had a small writing racket for a company in HongKong, for which I was supposed to receive US$150. This was way back when the exchange rate was still just under P50=$1. I gave the company my bank account details so they can wire the money over. But then I get an email from them saying that transfer charges are too prohibitive – US$24! So they’ll just mail me the check.
I get the check – thanks to the country’s ever reliable snail mail system – more than three weeks later. So I deposit it in the bank, and I was told I would have to wait around a month for it to clear. Hmm. Fine.
A few days later though, the bank told me that since it was a US$ check from HongKong, meaning it wasn’t in the native currency, they would have to send it back to HongKong for “collection” – and the entire process will cost me US$60!!!
Otherwise, they said I can just ask the HK company to send me another check in HK$, but I would have to open another account in HK$!!!
Of course, after all this trouble, I’ve already managed to collect several more checks from that HK company. We just agreed to tear up the checks, do a one-time transfer of the entire amount, and split the transfer fee between us.
Still, by the time I was able to get my money, the peso-dollar exchange rate was already at P46=$1.
Sigh. Banks. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them.