Four Tips To Survive In Today's Financial Jungle

courtesy of accretion disc
courtesy of accretion disc

It's A Jungle Out There!?!!

It's just crazy isn't it? Banks have credit card interest rates of 14% or higher...sometimes going up to 29%...and there's some cards which are even higher than that!!

  • Checking accounts are going to get new monthly fees.
  • Minimum deposits of several hundred dollars up to over one thousand dollars is being "required" if you want to waive any fees.
  • When you call to reach customer service you have to press 1 then 5 then 6 then 1 and THEN you MAY be connected to a representative....after you've waited 15 minutes.

Does it make you mad? You're not alone!

Having to adapt to the current financial climate one tends to read a lot. What works. What doesn't.

There's a lot of stuff out there that maybe used to work but not anymore. Here's the lowdown on some tips which might help make life better financially for you.

Tip 1 - Open A Checking Account From A Bank That Isn't Traded On A Big Stock Exchange To Avoid Fees

I don't know if you're aware of this but have you noticed that the banks that charge high fees usually have a stock available for trade in the stock market?

If they have a stock then that means there's shareholders. If there's shareholders, that's more STRESS for the CEO and upper management to perform financially. In order to "perform" financially, usually what I've noticed is that "fees" have to go up...they'll raise the fees on YOU!

courtesy of EditorB
courtesy of EditorB

So the point is, go to a bank or financial institution that doesn't have publicly traded stock. If you're not sure, call them and ask if they do or not. If they DON'T you're in LUCK!! Now just ask them what their fees are for "FREE" checking and what their minimums to maintain it are.

Without the shareholders there's less pressure to raise fees on everday items like checking and savings....so that translates to more savings from less fees being charged to you.

There's lots of banks out there that are hungry for your business and they'll throw free checking and maybe even a toaster your way just for staying with them. Try having that at any of the big banks......heck they'll probably charge you the cost of a toaster just because your money is "sitting" in an account.

Now say goodbye to Checking Account Fees!!

This usually is geared towards people wanting a checking account from a physical location bank.

Tip 1.5 - Open An Online Checking Account To Avoid Fees

There's tons of places online where you can open a checking account with NO FEES.  ING Direct, Perkstreet, Everbank, and FNBO look to be alright.

Top marks go to ING though!

courtesy of eliazar
courtesy of eliazar

Tip 2 - If You're Able To, Get A Credit Card With A Low Interest Rate - How's 6.5%?

If you've read rule 1 then you know where to go. Just do the same but in this case ask them what their credit card rates are.

You can use Bankrate.com for this one. What I do is look for low interest rate credit cards and there should be a box of the side listing the lowest ones.

By the way, credit unions are great too...these places are NON-PROFIT so they're not looking to nickel and dime you on all of their services. At the time of this writing I've seen a credit card listed on Bankrate....First Command Bank, they've got an interest rate of under 6.5% for the Platinum Visa and it looks like that's for cash advances too!

Just open one of these if you're able to and transfer the balance. Sure beats paying over 14% any day!

courtesy of joshberglund19
courtesy of joshberglund19

Tip 3 - Stock Up On Food And Basics....In Your Basement

There's lots of people that do this stuff day in day out. If you're not one of them, here's what they do. When there's a sale of something, they buy tons of the stuff. Like for example, paper towels. If there's a sale and it's fifty percent off, they'll buy 10 packages and store it in a basement.

Sound nutty? Here's the thinking behind it.

Even though people like this make Amway salesmen blush, one doesn't really have to worry if the price goes up in the future. Heck they've stored enough supplies to last three years! So that's one less thing you need to worry about.

Must sound extreme, but think about this, do you really want to spend $2 for ONE roll of paper towels when you could've stocked up at $1 when you had the chance? If you've got several people in your family, that adds up.

Now if you can do that with food and other stuff you'll save tons...but the most important thing is you hedge yourself against price spikes. If you normally buy retail price, you'll save a fortune.

Sometimes Amazon will have some things which go on sale which make a good price and they'll also have that free shipping option so you don't even have to leave the house. Leave the heavy lifting for the mailman.

If you do the math on this you'll find that you can get savings of 25% or higher if you time the purchases right whenever that sale hits. Just do me a favor and don't buy all that sale priced stuff, I gotta get in on it too!

Another tip to mention is you can probably get a good deal at some of those 99 cent stores with cheap stuff. You can stock up your pantry with a lot of items but of course you'll need to make sure you're paying a good price to make it worthwhile. You can fill your pantry to full capacity by doing this.

Now you just need enough space to put it in.

Also, watch out about telling friends and family about this. They'll think you joined Amway and that you're trying to recruit them!

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