Fees: It’s How I Support My Community

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I’ve professed my utter love for the library and its free programs before.  That love remains in tact.  But it’s time for a confession.  About once a year, I rack up an impressive late fee bill.  I don’t know why it happens.  I can renew my books online without even going into the library.  They send me email reminders.  It shouldn’t happen.  But it does.  I would get more upset with myself, but then I’m reminded that those programs I love so much receive partial funding from me and my late fees.

Returning your books to the library late isn’t the only way to support your community through mandated fees.  Have you ever gotten a traffic ticket?  Have you ever looked at the details for all those fees?  On top of supporting the courts and judicial system, a traffic ticket around here will also send some of your money to EMS services in your area and medicare.  We haven’t gotten tickets in quite some time, but if we did at least I could sleep better at night knowing that someone got an ambulance because of my civic irresponsibility.
Unfortunately…
My community isn’t the only one who benefits from collecting fees from my household.  I have put an official ban on redbox movies.  Last time the boyfriend brought one home, I told him it was horrible before we even watched it.  It was.  Truly horrible.  If the first modern Clash of the Titans wasn’t that great, why would the sequel be better?  And we didn’t return that horrible movie the next day like we were supposed to.  We got busy.  And forgot.  For days.  We might as well have bought the dang thing.
So that’s my weakness.  Late fees.  But at least my community (and sometimes corporate businesses) benefits.
Have you supported your community through fees?
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29 thoughts on “Fees: It’s How I Support My Community

  1. AverageJoe

    I supported my old community through so many driving fees I had the privilege of taking a defensive driving class. The police are notoriously bad in that town, and I lived right in the center. Since moving (3 years ago), I’ve had an absolutely clean record of “not helping through fees.”

    Reply
  2. Jennifer Lynn @ Broke-Ass Mommy

    I amassed some hefty overdue book fees as well — and was utterly heartbroken when the clerk informed me that the money is taken by the county and not even used toward my beloved struggling-to-stay-open library. Direct donations, she whispered with a wink.

    (And I’m too ashamed to acknowledge the sheer amount of parking tickets accumulated within the past year…)

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  3. bogofdebt

    I’ve been lucky-my library gives you a break if you return the books in the 2 days after the due date (I assume this is due to the weird weekend hours)and have gotten out of a few fines because of this. I do have a tendencay to donate books for the library book sales and then I visit these same book sales and buy more stuff!

    Reply
  4. Modest Money

    I’ve always thought it was a little strange that they charge late fees on something that is free to borrow. Like why just make forgetful people pay for the service? I admit I haven’t got around to using my local library. I did support the community with speeding tickets a fair amount in the past.

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    1. femmefrugality

      It’s how they make their money. It’s a solid plan, I guess. If they didn’t charge money they’d never get half those books back.

      Isn’t it a great way of looking at it? Yes, I sped, but how many people helped because sometimes I’m irresponsible?

      Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      I only have one more to turn in…one of the DC ate the original, so I’m waiting for a replacement copy to come it. I find it’s cheaper to buy it yourself than pay their replacement fee.

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    1. femmefrugality

      While I do not mind supporting the library, I do have to admit that the rest is meant to be dripping with sarcasm. :p I may not have gotten that across effectively, though.

      Reply
  5. Greg@ClubThrifty

    I used to support my college town with parking ticket fines. I racked up hundreds of dollars in fines. I could never find a spot to park in the university lots, so I parked on the street. Bad move:)

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      College towns are the worst for that! Sometimes if you park on university property and they give you a ticket and you’re not a student there/don’t have your car registered there, you can get away with not paying the ticket. They may have written your plate # down, but they have no way of finding out who you are if that plate isn’t registered with the university.

      That’s only some schools, though. And it’s not very ethical. So I’d recommend paying. :p

      Reply
  6. Halee G.

    Yes!!! I’ve been paying late fees, overdraft fees, damage fees, parking fees, etc. since I’ve become an adult. Fees make the world go round I guess! 🙂

    Reply
  7. Mrs. PoP @ PlantingOurPennies

    I call late fees at the library “book rental charges” and have definitely had to pay a few parking tickets when the apartment I was living in didn’t have parking.

    But, the one “fee” that rubs me the wrong way, though, was my ticket for turning right on a red light without “coming to a full and complete stop”. It was a trap and the cops got 6 of us for this supposedly illegal move. $380 later… and I have probably seen 100+ cop cars do this exact turn since then. I don’t mind fees, as long as they’re uniformly applied.

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      I HATE traps like that. The only ticket I’ve ever gotten is from one of those dang things. Even if you protest it and win, like I did, the community still makes its money off of court fees.

      Reply
  8. Michelle @ See Debt Run

    Oh I’m the same way with the library! Somehow my boys have lost two books to date. We actually returned everything on time only to be asked if we wanted to recheck a book….then couldn’t find it anywhere! This happened twice. My boys don’t even remember reading the books! Another time, my then 4 year old colored on a book and ripped out a few pages. It’s ours now!

    Reply
  9. eemusings

    Bahaha, I like the way you think. My library has started sending me reminders when I get close to a due date, but I still have about $10 of old late fees on my account.

    We also (in the days before online video rentals and Sky Movies) always forgot to return DVDs to the store on time. It was INSANE how much we racked up especially as they were usually fairly recent releases with hefty daily charges.

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  10. Meghan

    I’ve never thought about it that way before. It does make me feel better about having to pay a library fine every once in awhile, though I’m still going to try to avoid it.

    Whenever my husband buys a lottery ticket, which is less than once a month, he’ll tell me by saying, “I just did my part to fund the school system.” That feels better than saying, “I just paid the stupid tax.”

    Reply

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