Tips, Tricks, Dos and Don'ts - Saving Money Organizing Your Bank Accounts Pt.3
Tips, Tricks, Dos and Don’ts – How To Save Money Organizing Your Bank Accounts
This is the last part in my idea of saving money by organizing your bank accounts. If you want to start at the beginning go here. Otherwise, there are plenty of helpful tips below that will maximize your savings with your bank account system, and in general.
-Treat your family, and your finances like a business.
Businesses keep strict records of their purchases, expenses, inventory and income. Do the same. Know what is coming in and what is going out. Know how much you have and what its purpose is. Have at least a yearly evaluation of your expenses, your purchases, your assets and liabilities. Do a self audit once a year to see if there are things you are paying for that you do not use or need. Take a close look at loans, your income and your work benefits to see if a change needs to be made. Your life is always changing, your finances need to adapt as well.
- Have a purpose for your money
Notice all the accounts I listed in the bank account system divide your money up into a purpose. Have goals, purpose and a reason for why your money is where it is, and where it is going, and what it is being used for. If you have money sitting in a checking account, what is it for? What is its purpose? Could it be used more effectively somewhere else? Maybe as an investment, or emergency fund, or earning interest.
-Instead of your general use checking account, use a credit card…Properly!
If this idea intrigues you, read my article on the credit card float. By using a credit card properly, you are paying it off each month, earning rewards from the card, and your own money is staying in your savings account longer earning interest. By doing the credit card float, you can save more and even earn money.
- Have more than 1 bank
I have my bank account system at ING. But I have another credit card and check card, savings and checking account at another bank. From my experience as a banker, there are times when something may happen to the banks system, equipment or your account. By having a back up, and at another bank, you can avoid any inconvenience, which always seem to happen when you need your money the most.
-Have more than 1 card type
This tip goes along with the one above. I have a Visa, and a Mastercard check card. If I am at a place that does not accept one, they will more than likely accept the other. Also, if something were to happen with that company suddenly, I have a back up. I know all of this back up talk may sound like I am paranoid, but I worked at a couple banks and insurance companies and have seen a lot of bad experiences with different financial institutions, so it is always good to prepare for these types of situations.
- Have checks, even if you don’t use them
Again, along the same lines as the previous two. I have cash, check cards, credit cards, and checks ready for use. I rarely ever write a check, but I would be hard pressed to find a situation, business or person that would not accept one of those forms of payments
- Have cash on hand, but not too much
Cash is universal, and hard, real, and accepted everywhere. It is smart to carry some with you at all times, but not too much. Remember, checks, credit cards and check cards can be cancelled, and those purchases can be reimbursed if there is fraud on the account or the card is stolen, cash cannot, once it is gone, it is gone! I also recommend keeping some cash in your car. Again, a small amount, to maybe pay for gas, to use a phone, or something if other payments are not readily acceptable. Lastly, I recommend keeping a larger amount of cash at home in a safe, or where ever you keep important documents, this for a couple reasons. Again, it may sound paranoid, but if all your money is tied up electronically, and something happens, you may be in a tough spot. Lastly, on a lighter note, you may come across a crazy sale or deal, maybe for a car, furniture or something that you need to make a very fast decision and purchase for or it will be gone, cash is great for snagging such a deal. For example, I keep about a months worth of expenses in cash in our safe at home.
-Automate, Automate, Automate!
The more you automate, the better off you will be. You will save time, and reach your goals without even lifting a finger. The set it and forget it mentality is the best way to save, pay down debt, and stay out of debt. If your account is set up to automatically pay off your credit card each month in full, you know you will never pay interest, and you will not be tempted to make a purchase you cannot afford to pay off that month.
- Monitor your accounts often
Be sure to glance at your accounts every so often. Look for any strange charges, purchases or fees. If you automate your accounts, log in once a month and poke around a bit. There are great programs to help such as Mint.com that can alert you by a text or email when you reach certain limits or a bill is due.
-No more than 6 withdrawals from a savings account per month
If you look at my banking account system, there are no more than 6 transactions going from my direct deposit account each month. That is not by chance, but is staying within the law. A savings account cannot have more than 6 withdrawals from it each month, this is a federal regulation. Without that, it is not really a savings account says the government and lawmakers. By having this regulation, banks can give a higher interest rate because having a savings account is showing you are intending to save and not commit many transactions out of it each month. If you perform more than the allotted transactions, you may be warned a couple times, and your account could either be closed or more likely converted to a checking account. So keep an eye on the amount of outgoing transactions taking place each month.
For other great information on personal finance, read my other articles here on hub pages or visit my blog, http://www.stewardology.com/blog/