Usually at the heart of getting out of debt, lies an issue with personal credit. But how often do you consider your checking account in terms of saving money? If you answered, not often… then you should certainly think again. Just as credit cards carry with them different APRs, minimums, and various payment options, checking and debit cards are also not created equal, by a long shot. If you’ve got a checking account, or are just now looking to get one, these three tips can make a huge money-saving difference when choosing or using the right account for you.
- Paperless, Online Checking
Look into the paperless options for your bank or your future bank. Going paperless not only helps the environment, it actually makes your life a lot easier. Instead of receiving paper statements via snail mail, which takes time and man power, why not use the internet to keep tabs on your checking account? This grants you instant access to see and track your spending, and also to see if you’re getting any bogus charges or fees each day. Many people are also switching to internet banks in general these days, which offer some great perks, free checking accounts, and competitive credit rates worth looking into.
- Read the Fine Print
Literally two weeks ago I was checking my paperless online statement when I noticed a random $12 charge for a “monthly maintenance fee.” After doing just ten minutes of research into the charge, I figured out that my particular checking account carried with it a minimum daily amount that I had to have in my account at all times. If I failed to have at least that amount even just one day out of the month, then I was subject to a 12-dollar monthly fee. How long this had been happening I didn’t even care to find out, but without diving too deep into my personal financial woes, let’s just say I wasn’t maintaining that daily minimum very often.
After doing just a bit more research, I found that by switching to a different account option with the same bank, I could completely eliminate these fees, get rid of paper statements which I never checked anyway, and save money with a unique change-saving service. In two weeks, I’ve already saved roughly $40 with the new account. So take it from me: read the fine print of your account specifics. Know your options within your bank, but also….
- Compare Banks and Accounts
While switching banks may seem like a lengthy, hassle-filled process, if it can save you money, it’s worth it. First of all, there’s really no reason to be paying for checking services. With all the free checking accounts out there, paying for one is a real waste. There are plenty of sites out there that offer free account comparisons that you can easily look into. Similarly, all major banks will have a list of the various types of accounts and the specifics of each, right on their website. Take a little time to browse some of the major institutions, as well as some smaller ones, to see if any of them fit your needs.
Saving money with your checking account is something that often goes overlooked by bank users. They often sign up for a checking account, throw their cash in there, and then forget about their options. By taking just a little extra time out of your day to look into your particular account details, and compare with other existing offers out there, you could save yourself some serious money, and potentially help get out of debt much quicker.