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Surviving the Pumps and Inflation

Gas stations charging more than you pumped?

A run down on authorization holds.

“Why is there $100 charge on my card for only $30 in gas?!”

Gas stations charging more than you pumped? Did the gas station just charge you over $100 for your $30 gas purchase? If you paid at the pump, that’s normal! Stay with us. That is called an authorization hold. Most gas stations place authorization holds on your card because the final purchase amount is not known at the time you swipe your card. When you pay at the pump, you are swiping your card before pumping your gas. The transaction happens before your total is known. A gas station places a “hold” on funds on your card to ensure sufficient funds are in your account to cover a transaction. The authorization hold is for a higher dollar amount than your purchase. This is done by the merchant, to protect the merchant. This authorization hold amount has been increasing along with the rising gas prices.

“Why won’t my bank or credit union reverse the hold/refund my money?”

The hold is placed on your card by the merchant (the gas station) and your financial institution does not have control over that. The hold will remain on your card until the transaction clears, which can take up to 72 hours (sometimes even longer, depending on the merchant). Your credit union or bank can’t take action on these pending holds.

“What can I do to avoid these (temporary) extra charges?”

Pay inside! When you pay inside, the merchant already knows your total in gas. They do not need to place a hold on your card. Some gas stations require you pre-pay, you can still pay inside and ask for a certain dollar amount to be placed on your pump. Figure out how much to pre-pay by taking your tank’s capacity size in gallons and multiplying by the current price per gallon. The pump stops when your payment is depleted or your tank is full. If you overpaid, you must go back inside after pumping to get your change.

Penalties for Not Paying
Minnesota has penalties for driving off without paying for your gas. These fines add up to much more than your price of gas!

Surviving Inflation

Inflation is at a high right now, and many people are struggling to keep up. The rising prices in gas, groceries, housing, and just about everything else can feel suffocating. First, breathe. Breathe. Now is the time to reassess your spending habits, create a budget, shop sales and bargains, and strategize your savings.

Your Budget

Download our budget sheet here. If you’ve never created a budget before, we can help you! Here’s a quick how-to budget guide, or you can give us a call and talk with someone on the NorthRidge team that can help! Create your budget now to get ahead of inflation!

Shop Sales and Bargains

While it can be habitual to grab the name brand items you’ve always purchased, it’s often more cost-effective to buy the store brand. One reason name brand products are more expensive is because of the cost to advertise the brand and products to the consumer. Store brand products are not advertising themselves, and can give those cost savings to the consumer. For now, maybe grab the “Chocolate Cookies with Cream Filling” instead of Oreos and save on your groceries. Buying all or mostly store brand products can save you anywhere from 20-40% on your shopping!

Your Savings

Inflation can sometimes mean less interest on savings accounts. Being strategic with your existing savings (and starting a new savings account) is a great way to combat inflation. NorthRidge has great rates on Certificates of Deposit savings, which offer guaranteed returns. We also have great rates on savings accounts and can offer many tips to build your savings, even if you feel like you are living paycheck to paycheck. Come in and chat with us!

If you’re struggling to keep up with loan or mortgage payments, please call us. We will help you find a solution, no judgment here.