22 Jun A Smart Lesson in Banking for Twenty-Somethings
Whether you are currently in college or ready to embark on your post-grad experience, it is imperative to be well educated about your finances, banking, and spending activities. We thought that it would be beneficial to give all you 20-somethings out there a quick lesson in banking that will hopefully stick with you for years to come.
Check your account history daily.
Here at Bank of the Lowcountry, we cannot stress enough the importance of keeping track of your transactions and spending habits. Whether this means writing your transactions down or using a website or online banking app to track your activity, it allows you to play an active role in your financial activity and stay involved in your banking experience. While it may be a pain to monitor your spending habits and keep tabs on the amount of money flowing in and out of your account, doing so will help you avoid the habit of spending your money too quickly and carelessly.
For example, have you ever received a paycheck, cashed it, bought a few items throughout the week, and then as the week comes to an end, checked your balance and wondered where all your money went? Unfortunately, these moments occur regularly and you do not want to get accustomed to spending your money in a careless and erratic manner. Regularly monitoring your account history and staying on the lookout for additional and unnecessary charges will help you stop any spending issues in their tracks.
Pay attention to when your checks are cashed.
When you make a purchase using your debit card, it immediately shows up on your account history. Do not forget that checks are handled differently and can take as long as a week to be cashed. This means you should curb your spending until you are positive that your check has been cashed. Paying attention to the status of your checks goes hand in hand with checking your account balance and history daily. Your current balance will inform you if your check has or has not been deposited yet. The last thing you want to experience is an unfortunate overdraft fee or a bounced check. Trust us –they are a lot more hassle than they’re worth!
Avoid ATMs unless absolutely necessary.
The convenience of ATMs is what draws in many people, however their increasing user fees are a significant downside. According to 24/7 Wall Street, in 2014, ATM fees for those who use other bank’s ATMs rose to $2.77 and consumer’s own banks also raised their fees to about $1.58, making the average cost for using another institution’s ATM approximately $4.35. These fees really add up over time and can take out a chunk of money each ATM visit. The money taken out by ATMs could be better allocated to your future savings or other accounts. While it is completely understandable to use the ATM every once in a while, making a habit out of it will have a negative impact on your wallet in the long run.
While tackling accounts, payments, and fees on your own may seem like a struggle at first, implementing these helpful behaviors from the start will make your overall financial experience easier and more approachable.