Ok responsible people. This week’s tip on becoming financially successful has to do with the banking industry. I won’t sugar coat it. 100 percent of all banking institutions are scam artists. They’ve always been. $35 for a checking account mistake when you never agreed to have the ability for your account to be overdrawn in the first place. $5 a day continuous overdrawn charge if you stay overdrawn after a certain number of days. Monthly service fees approaching $10 if you don’t agree to play the banks version of “hide and go get it”. You know what “hide and go get it” is…setting up mandatory monthly transfers from one account to another just so you have a lower probability of keeping track of your account and a higher probability of being charged fees. All of this in addition to other misc fees for things like pulling your money out of an ATM, checking your last couple transactions or even simply having the ability of speaking with customer service. So what can we do as customers to place our money in the hands of someone that truly cares? Outside of each of us moving our money (or lack thereof) to a local credit union?
First, I figure for those of you who know I went through a licensed banker program with a very well known bank (just there to get my licenses so that bank shall remain nameless) expect me to say..well not at XYZ bank! AT XYZ bank we aren’t like those other guys! lol Yall must not know me that well. I’ll be the first to tell you the things I’ve seen have me questioning my morals and banking industry ethics DAILY. At the end of the day, they all only care about the bottom line…of course.
What I will tell you is this. And it may be beating a dead horse…but…we must always aim to keep accurate transaction records. This is so important because the services these banks offer are much needed and I don’t see many customers going anywhere else anytime soon. But knowing this, they are betting that you get lazy. Don’t let them win. So how do you we do this?
Start by utilizing your online banking service. Utilize the automatic budgeting software most banks offer but don’t do major jobs of advertising. You can also sign up for free at http://www.Mint.com and get a complete look at your finances as a whole and in real time (download their free iPhone app too!). Shoot..if you’re old school..atleast utilize your check registry. Whatever you do…just know this one thing. Even before the recession began, bank profitability has shifted from charging interest on money lent to borrowers based on the cash we all deposit as a backstop…to more of a fee based system. And these fees are going up. With less and less people being able to even qualify to borrow money for things like home loans etc…banks started to get an idea: What if we just start charging these suckers more for things that they already have?
We are smarter than this. Don’t be a sucker. Keep track of your spending.