Paying a fee to use an automatic teller machine (ATM) is an outrage. If the fee were something like 25¢ that might be okay. But of course the fees are whole dollars. Dollars. Plural! The idea that some poor souls (not me!) are paying $3 or $4 — or more! — to withdraw $20 from their checking accounts really irks me. Think how that adds up. Are you spending $10, or more, every month just to have some walking-around money? If you can’t find an AT machine* that belongs to your bank and is free for you to use (and you should check on that), then try going to a store that will allow you to get some cash with a purchase paid for by ATM card. There are usually grocery stores and drug stores in the same places where you’re looking for an ATM. In my area, the Safeway and Giant grocery stores allow you to get cash back with an ATM purchase. So does Costco and the Post Office. Buy something you need anyway, especially if it’s on sale: laundry detergent, toilet paper, batteries, peanut butter, … stamps (if you use those these days). Don’t buy a snack! What you save on the ATM fee is like an additional dollars-off coupon on your purchase. Be careful that the store doesn’t add their own fee on the cash you get back. The Dollar Store near me does that. 7-Eleven doesn’t have a fee, but they do limit the cash back to a small amount … of course they usually have those no-name ATMs that charge fees right there in the store.
* Also avoid saying “ATM machine”; the “M” in “ATM” stands for “machine”, so if you say “ATM machine” your meaning is “Automatic Teller Machine machine”, which makes you sound stupid … but not as stupid as paying ATM fees.