There are banking tips and tricks to saving more. Saving has become increasingly important to Americans. According to a recent Gallup poll, 62 percent of those surveyed indicated they were more focused on saving than spending. Before the financial crisis, only about half made saving a priority.
A key area of savings is how people manage their banking. In addition, banks can be used to actually facilitate painless ways to build savings for goals ranging from a down payment on a house to paying for a child’s college tuition.
It is possible to bank fee-free or, at least, to bypass most of the more costly ones, such as overdraft charges. That requires three steps.
The first is to shop around for the bank that provides the most options to “beat” fees for the range of services needed.
The second is to research within that bank all the fine print on terms and conditions for accounts. Banking is a highly regulated industry, so there will be much to read. That information probably is online and can be clarified by phoning customer service with questions.
The third of the banking tips and tricks is to obey the rules. If a minimum monthly balance is required for a certain type of free checking account and that is not maintained, a penalty is likely. That in itself can wipe out the savings from other smart choices.
In essence, it pays to maintain all or most of your accounts at one bank. Often, by doing that it is possible to waive checking account fees. Another way of not having to pay that fee is to select total online banking at a brick-and-mortar bank. That means no access to the bank’s tellers. Also, online banks, with no brick-and-mortar presence, frequently provide free checking.
Overdraft charges can be prevented in a variety of ways. The most common one is setting up both a checking and savings account and linking them. Another, if the bank provides the service, is being texted or emailed when the checking-account amount goes beneath a certain level. In addition, the checking account can be linked to a line of credit. Or, consumers can select the debit card overdraft protection service.
Out-of-network ATM fees can be huge. On smart phones, it is possible to find a nearby ATM associated with one’s own bank. Online banks will often reimburse all fees. So will small or regional banks, which reimburse as a tactic to compete with larger banks.
Debit cards may or may not involve fees for transactions. If they do and there is no way to bypass this, then use credit cards instead, paying off the entire balance monthly.
For those focused on saving to build a reserve fund or for specific goals, banks provide automatic deduction plans. For example, set amounts can be electronically transferred from checking. The funds might be deposited in a general savings account, a state 529 college plan, and/or retirement accounts. Since the money is no longer available in checking, it is not there to tempt anyone to spend it.
For those willing to invest the time in research, banking can be cost-efficient, especially when you utilize these banking tips and tricks. Also, it can facilitate the pattern of regular saving.