Monday, March 26, 2012

Money – Your Bank

Direct deposit is a must in this day and age.  You cannot get paid without a bank or credit union account.  Why you chose the bank you did can have a serious impact to your wealth.  When I first joined the Army I opened up a bank account in reception through Wachovia.  This bank was a non-interest bearing account.   I kept this account for over two years.  Choosing the right bank is important because most of us do not embrace change.   Changing your bank seems to be a hassle.  This is not always the case, but many times laziness sinks in.  This was the case for me.  I didn’t respect money like I should have.  I didn’t focus on making money, but rather focused on saving.  From my experience is seems easier to save than to make money.  

Benjamin Franklin once said a penny saved is a penny earned.  What he meant by that was not saving money by putting it in a bank.  A penny saved is if you can figure out a way to pay less than the asking price on a good or service.  The other saying is a penny saved is a penny taxed.  Again Benjamin Franklin wasn’t talking about putting money into savings.  The money you didn’t spend has already been taxed.

Non-interest bearing accounts is almost always a bad way to do banking.  Letting someone borrow your money and not give you interest is bad for your finances.  This is the same as withholding too much of your money out of your paycheck.  Unless you are receiving some sort of major benefit other than free checking, you should receive interest for parking your hard earned money at a bank.  They owe it to you!

Several reasons exist why you choose the bank you do.  I think that convenience is a major reason.  This is why I chose Wachovia.  It was convenient at the time.  Convenience costs you money.  People who make purchases at convenient stores pay more on average than if you got to a non- convenience store.  An article was written on this subject calling it the convenience tax.

Please do not get caught up with this.  In my opinion, you do want a bank that is within 3 miles from where you live, and pays you interest.  If you are in the military this may force you to change your bank several times in your career.  This is normal.  I am a big fan of using online banking for savings, but I do prefer to have a bank that I can stop in to make withdraws for I do not use ATM machines.

Currently I use two brick and mortar banks, an online bank, and a credit union.  The credit union and bank is at my workplace which is a great benefit.  The credit union has competitive interest rates and has one of those neat change machines to get dollars out of your coins.  My bank at my workplace I use because I get special benefits for my credit cards.  I also have another bank that I use which I have my mortgage through.  I use that bank because they have $299 closing costs on home purchases.  This bank has the cheapest closing costs and competitive mortgage interest rates in the area

With a little research (let your fingers do the walking) or even a lot of research can go a long way to saving and making money.  So go out and start shopping for a new bank!

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