Good morning! I hope all is well.
As promised, I’m going to do a series about how I save money. Now, I’m not going to sugarcoat it and say that it’s easy because it’s not. I just know that as the head of the house, I have to provide for my family and with only one income, there’s only a little room for error. You don’t have to do what I do, but you can certainly read what I’ve done and maybe it can help you look at a different way of spending and saving money. It’s not perfect, but it’s worked for me. Six months ago, I had been unemployed for 5 months with no income assistance – I was living off my savings. Today, I’m driving a brand new car AND I can still afford food! hehehehe….
Okay, here we go!
Never pay for someone to keep your money
This is my biggest pet peeve. I don’t know if it’s because our family has always been a credit union family, but paying an exorbitant monthly fee to a bank, especially a big bank, makes me crazy. Okay, so they provide a service to me, sure, but in reality, what am I getting for that service? For me, I have simple banking needs: I need somewhere for my incoming money to be deposited and I need access to it afterward for paying bills. I’m not investing, I don’t have a mortgage (YET! EEEK!), I don’t have a complicated portfolio. I just need somewhere to keep my money.
Now here in Vancouver, the average interest rate on a chequing account is around 1%, so depending on how much money I keep in the bank, I’ll be getting a couple dollars return for keeping my money there. Is that price every month worth it? For me, it’s not. I don’t think that I should have to pay $10 a month to keep my money in the bank and then they give me back $0.22 for my loyalty and basic service because, let’s face it, most of us use online banking anyway, so what does your bank really do for you to earn your $10 a month (which is $120 a year, by the way). That’s money that could be yours! Don’t pay banking fees because you have to, pay it because you are getting a service that is worth the money. I use a no-fee account that works just fine for me. I have never ONCE pined for a big bank.
If changing where you put your money is not an option for you, maybe you can look into changing the KIND of account you have. You know how you use your money – maybe there’s a cheaper type of account you can have so you can save a few dollars a month with little or no effort. Remember, the banks want to make money. They are not going to volunteer to let you know that you could change your account to one with cheaper monthly fees based on your usage. You have to look out for #1! You can always call in and ask for your options once a year to make sure you’re spending your money on the best products and services. You work hard for it, don’t throw it away.
Remember, with so much competition out there, they want OUR business, not the other way around. You have to ask, “What are you going to do to earn the privilege of keeping my money because I can get somebody else to do the same thing for less?”
Okay, that sure sounded like a lecture, but I’m passionate about it.
Next: Knowing your money