Banking #ProTips for those without a lot of money.

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I thought I’d share a few tips to those who might not realized how your banking account stacks up for and against you. I really wish when I was 18 someone would have given me some advice, so my pain (and that of people I’ve know) is your gain.

  • Call your bank right now and cancel overdraft coverage. This in effect will stop the bank from covering your overdrafts and then charging you between $20-$60 in overdraft fees. It might embarrass you, but your next paycheck will be intact. I’ve had friends actually go to check deposit places because they needed their paycheck but were too far into their own bank on overdrafts and fees. Also many banks after so many days charge a continued overdraft fee as high as $15 per day. 
  • Don’t be loyal to your bank, if you see a good banking deal with a reputable organization, take it. Sometimes banks will offer free checking, no minimum balance, no direct deposit, that’s the best deal right there. Even if a bank offers you $100 to join, you could easily lose that in fees later on if you don’t keep a minimum balance or you lose your job and therefor your direct deposit.
  • Use your credit cards. Crazy advice right? Not really, you need to be paying a bill every month to establish on time credit reports. This will help build your credit and if you pay off your balance in the same billing cycle, you’ll avoid interest charges. Also if you want to ever buy a house, think about opening as many revolving credit accounts as you can, you don’t have to use them all, but it’ll lower your debt to credit ratio and make you a better candidate for further credit. (Don’t try to open them all at once, space it out every 3-6 months)
  • Manage all your financial accounts online through a separate email address from your personal email address. Don’t get attached to it, if a company sends you notice that they’ve been hacked, migrate all accounts to a new email address.
  • Never make your banking passwords the same as your email passwords.
  • Try to use separate passwords for all accounts. Get a password manager, I use dashlane which works for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. LastPass works with pretty much any OS you can throw at it if you need Linux support.

If for some reason I’ve given really bad advice, I’m not a financial consultant and use common sense. (That means I won’t accept liability if you lose all your money.)