While many people already do their banking online, for many the idea of writing a good old-fashioned check and sending it through the mail is still part of their budgeting routine. Think about how much you pay in bank fees, high cost insurance premiums, and other finance-related expenses. Add it up and you may be looking at a much needed vacation! With the Internet being what it is today, reaching billions at the swipe of a key, it can be a host of savings to your bank balance. It can also be a maze of not-so-reasonable offers that may cost you more in the long run. Get a little more acquainted with what’s out there (meaning on the Web), and see how much more savvy you can be with your finances.
The first place to save on monthly costs is your bank
Cut those nasty bank fees and average monthly charges that come with the high cost of banking. Did you know that average monthly charge that comes with having a non-interest checking account hovers around $5.50? Add to that that the amount it will cost you in overdraft charges should you become overdrawn ($35) and that can add up to hundreds per year! That’s according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Instead of going the traditional route, maximize your options via the Internet and shop fee-free online banks. You can go to bankrate.com to compare different online financial institutions. If you have a smart phone that operated on the iOS or Android systems, you can go use simple.com that is actually a mobile and Web bank replacement that offers free checking accounts. Your money is still safe by being FDIC insured at a bank that partners with simple.com. In addition to getting a debit card like you would with any traditional financial institution, you have access to mobile and Web apps that can help you manage your account, move your money around, and make budgeting smarter and faster!
If you aren’t comfortable with online banking, and the though of getting away from a brick and mortar financial institution all together, check out your area credit unions. Did you know that more than 70% of the country’s credit unions offer free checking? This means no minimum monthly balance requirements or direct deposit of paychecks. Credit unions often offer more competitive rates on home, auto and personal loans when fast cash is needed. And while it used to be that you had to be a member of a credit union through your employer to benefit from those low interest rates and free checking accounts, thousands of credit unions today are open to anybody which means more business for them and more benefits for their members. Check out mycreditunion.gov to learn more about credit unions and how they were started, get advice on how to protect your finances, and have access to comprehensive financial tools and resources. You can also use their credit union locator to find a credit union closest to you.