ATM, overdraft fees cost Americans $25 each

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MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Thanks to ATM and overdraft fees, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America earned enough money in 2015 to cost every adult in the U.S. $25, according to SNL Financial and CNN Money

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the majority of overdraft fees are charged after a purchase that cost less than $25. ATM and overdraft fees earned the three big banks $6 billion last year.

"You can go on a cash basis for those little expenditures," Michael Sullivan with Take Charge America said. He also said you should ditch the computer for a pencil and paper; track your expenditures in a cash register, rather than online only.

"Oftentimes those are timed out by the time you look at it," Sullivan said. "You've already done something else or an automatic payment is about to hit."

Finally, Sullivan said call your bank, and opt out of so-called overdraft protection. 

"The downside of that, of course, is your card might be declined at some point," Sullivan said. "That could be embarrassing, but it won't be expensive." 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has some ideas on how to avoid fees. You can also submit a complaint with them here, and view those tips here

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