Maximizing Utility of Your Bank

Managing your finances involves having you deal with your respective banking institutions. This discussion will be focusing more on this. I am going to expound on better ways to make the most out of your banking services. Do take note that your bank does not only serve as a vessel that would allow you to receive your salary. It can do much more for you if you know what it can actually do for you and how to actually manage your money. Here are some tips you to help you maximize your banking experience:

Know your Account Features

Different banks are racing to become the more preferred bank so they stack their offerings with features that may or may not appeal to you. You can do your due diligence in researching what your account can do.

  •  Do not fall into the trap of overdraft services. This is something that shows how diabolical banking institutions can be when it comes to creating a system that would send their customers into debt. For me, this so-called “service” is not worth $35 dollars per transaction fee. Although we must admit that this is something we can prevent by making sure we have more than enough balance before making a transaction. There are real easy ways to check your balance. You can do it online or through the phone. Most times they are updated in real time which should assure you that any funds you are expecting will be made available as they come. On the other hand, you can disable the service altogether. This supposed service is sometimes set to “active” once a checking account is opened so you better ensure that you do not have this lurking on your account, especially if you have an automatic debit set up on your account.

Open a Secondary Account

  •  It is always helpful if you are able to set up another account specifically for your savings (and even more if you want to allocate funds to different things). The good thing about a regular savings account is that it is not set to be readily available when it comes to accessing the funds unlike a checking account which is great if you are saving. A savings account also does not have a debit card attached to it so you cannot just use it for transactions. One set up you can do is set an amount that can be directly deposited to your savings account periodically. This way, you won’t have to do anything else. You can just regularly get your pay and stay within budget while setting something aside for the rainy days.

Set Notifications

  • It will be best to be updated in real time what happens to your account. The good thing about the more recent development in online banking is that you can now set a notification for your account on a specific activity. You no longer must wait to go online or receive your monthly statements in the mail to find what’s going on in your account. This is also a great way to have yourself be in the know in case your expected deposit hits your account. I know some people would sometimes opt out of this option but you must realize how valuable it is to be on top of the activities on your account(s).

Set Automatic Transfers

  • As mentioned above, it is quite convenient to set automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings. This way you can just leave your savings account unless you must dip into it for emergencies. You will be surprised how much you are able to save when you work within a certain budget and allow yourself to utilize the service and just watch your savings grow.

Use Credit Cards

  • Now this is quite subjective because not all individuals can manage having this kind of purchase power on their hands without digging themselves into debt. The reason why I am recommending this is because once you are able to manage your purchases, utilizing a credit card can help you in building your credit score. There is one huge caveat when it comes to using this option. You need to keep this under control. Credit card debts can cause debilitating financial issues if you are not careful. Take note of these things and you should be fine:
          • Make small purchases using the card
          • Always pay off the complete amount periodically
          • Connect your credit card account to your checking account so you can easily make the payment
          •  Do not keep your card in your wallet wherein you have immediate access to it
          • Set a small credit limit. I understand the bank will convince you to set the limit higher but this is just another way for the bank to actually lure you into building quite a debt if you are not careful

Clear out your Checking

  • Before every deposit, make it a point to send what is left of your checking account into your savings. This will teach you to live off what you are making and nothing more. Make sure you are able to pay off all the bills or any other expenses you might have for the week before making the transfer. This should help you build up your savings faster.

Ask about CDs

  • Certificate of deposits is a great way to save. Some would call this time deposits and this is a great way to save money because you will have limited access to your funds and are only made available at a given timeframe. Not to mention this would usually have better interest rates compared to leaving your money in a savings account. You will have different options in the hold period when it comes to these types of deposits. Once you have a substantial amount in your savings account, you may want to consider going one step higher.

Don’t forget about Retirement

  • Banks have different options when it comes to setting up a retirement account. It is never too early to set one up if you ask me. The more common regret I hear is that why have they not started earlier.

Your bank can serve as a whole ecosystem when it comes to your finances. There are still a lot of other options you can toy around with but the ones mentioned above are the ones you ought to consider when you are starting out and trying to really save money. Your bank should be able to help you build your finances accordingly if you know your options. It is also fair to take note that the bank has a way to destroy your financial standing if you are not careful. It can definitely go both ways and it is up to you to make sure you go the right way. As you can see, your bank serves more purpose than just receiving your salary. The options you have are so many that it would be best to really dissect the details that you think would work for you. Feel free to actually visit the branch or even call your friendly telephone banker.

Now you have a better income flow, you may no longer need a financial manager to make sure you don’t lose money as you go about serving your contracts all over the country. Regardless of where you are, if you choose a large bank chain, you should be able to manage your finances with ease.

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