Review Your Bank Accounts And Save Money On Fees

by Pam on July 28, 2010

Are you still using the same bank account that you had when you were a child?  If so, it’s time for you to review your bank accounts.  This is also a good idea for anyone who hasn’t done a review of his/her bank accounts for a long time.  You may be surprised to discover that you have been spending a lot of money on service fees simply because you don’t have the right banking package, or you could be forfeiting earning interest because you don’t have an interest bearing account.

The key is to be proactive.  The best way to ensure you are using the best banking package to suit your needs, is to get a hold of a copy of the statement of fees for your financial institutions holding your accounts and determine what fees you are being charged on a regular basis.  You can often find fee information online as well. Also, most accounts set up for children pay a very low interest rate, so if you are still using one, you should contact your financial institution and get it changed over to an interest-bearing account.

Take a close look at your bank statements.  If after looking at your statements, you realize that you are being charged an excessive amount of fees, ask for a bank account geared towards your purpose for the account.  For example, if you need unlimited banking transactions, choose a package that will provide this rather than paying a per transaction fee.

If you have savings accounts that aren’t paying enough interest, ask for the highest interest bearing accounts and switch your existing accounts accordingly.  Close any bank accounts that you are no longer using in order to simplify your banking and to avoid any inactivity or dormant fees.

When opening a new account, make sure you understand the ins and outs of the account, such as any fees that will be charged, how many transactions you can do each month, and whether or not the account is accessible through ATMs, etc.  It’s also important to understand how much interest, if any, the account pays, how often it’s paid, and how it’s calculated.  Some financial institutions will allow you to put your money into a monthly interest bearing account first, and then they set it up so it will automatically transfer it into an annual interest bearing account so you can earn interest in both accounts with the same deposit.  Ask your bank or credit union if they have such an option.

Always ask questions and never be afraid to probe until you find the best possible bank accounts that will suit your needs.  As time passes, your needs will change, so be sure to contact your bank when they do.

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