DIRECT DEPOSIT BANKING SAVES TIME AND MONEY

How to Manage Your Bills, Checkbook and Credit Cards
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9.2 DIRECT DEPOSIT BANKING SAVES TIME AND MOENY

You can save a lot of time by having your checks deposited directly into your account. With interest bearing accounts you will earn more money. It will also help with accounts that require a minimum average balance because your money will probably be in the account longer.

9.2.1 DOES IT PAY TO SWITCH BANKS

I got very tired of the games my bank was playing. Every month it seemed like another nuisance nickel-and-dime fee was creeping into my account. For example, in addition to a high interest rate and $100 loan increment for a check overdraft protection plan, the bank added a $5 fee every time this feature was used. Instead of allowing me to have a savings account with $500 (that earned all of 2% interest) so that I could get free checking, the bank suddenly wanted me to maintain a minimum $500 balance with no interest for free checking and pay a $10 fee if the balance dropped below $500. What baloney. Most banks today are recording record profits.

In America we make the assumption that we can comparison shop and that if we don't like a service we can go somewhere else. But some services like banks know that they can gradually jack up fees because it is too much trouble to close an account and open another one.

How much trouble is it? Well, I decided to find out. I closed my old account and went to a bank that advertised "really free checking." While the people were very nice, the process involved wasting my old checks because they were no longer good and then waiting for three weeks to get my new checks (that I had to pay for) and new ATM card. In addition, the statement was completely different, so that I had to spend time learning the new way that checks, deposits, and charges were listed.

It probably was not worth the trouble, but I did get a bit of pleasure telling my old bank that I was tired of the nuisance fees, so I was going elsewhere.

9.2.2 BROKERAGE FEES WAIVED

Mysterious charges showed up on my wife's small account with a brokerage firm. They explained that this account required a minimum, which we had not understood. We switched to a different kind of account, and got them to drop the charges. Savings = $50.


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