Choosing a bank is not a decision that should be taken lightly. The bank that you choose will be responsible for the safeguarding of your money for many years and the bank’s business practices can cost or save you a significant amount of money over that time. There are a number of things that you should keep in mind when searching for a new bank to hold your accounts. Here are some of the things that you should think about.
Before choosing a bank, you should review the different accounts that the bank has available and the features of each of those accounts. Most banks have a variety of different account options to choose from and each of those options will have different features that make it suitable or unsuitable for your needs. Once you have found a type of account that suits your needs, compare that type of account at several different banks to see which bank has the best terms for the account that you want. You may find that one bank has lower fees or lower minimum amounts than its competitors.
Many bank accounts have fees associated with the account that are triggered by specific actions or failure to take actions as detailed in the terms and conditions of the account information. For example, I have a checking account that will charge me a monthly fee of $6 if I fail to have at least $500 in direct deposits for the month or I do not use the debit card associated with the account for at least five transactions each month. I would not have chosen this type of account if I weren’t sure that I would be able to avoid the fee each month with my normal banking activities. If your normal banking activities will trigger considerable fees throughout the year, then that particular type of account is not the best type of account for your needs.
When choosing a bank account, it is important for you to be able to access the bank account easily when you need to. You should check to see where branches of the bank are located and how far away they are from your home or office. You should also review the locations of ATMs you can use without being charged a fee. ATM fees can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars each year at nearly $5 per occurrence and having to go far out of your way to access an ATM branded for your bank increases the chances that you will be paying ATM fees frequently.
Making mistakes with your money can be very costly accident. You can ruin your credit score and damage your financial stability quite easily without even realizing it. Avoiding these mistakes often involves changing the habits that lead to these mistakes.
Reducing the number of mistakes you are making is one of the best things that you can do to improve your financial stability because you will no longer be paying the costs of these mistakes. Having that additional money in your bank account is the first step in building wealth for the future. Here are some of the money mistakes that people make most often and how you can avoid them.
One of the biggest money mistakes often made is buying items impulsively while shopping at stores. Items purchased impulsively are often not needed, but you don’t realize that because you do not really spend any time thinking about the purchase. Purchasing items that you do not need could be wasting a lot of money that could be put to better use paying your bills or being saved for the future.
The best way to avoid this money mistake is to always shop with a list. Before heading out to the store, make a list of the items that you need to buy and the quantity of each item that should be purchased. If you stick to the list, you will only buy the items that you intended to, negating the effects of the advertisements and displays in the store to entice you into buying more.
Making Minimum Payments
Only making the minimum payments on your credit cards is a sure way to stay in debt forever. High credit card balances can be financially devastating and paying only the minimum ensures that the principal amount barely moves with each payment made. You should really make an effort to pay off credit card balances as quickly as possible to minimize the amount that you pay in fees and interest charges.
If you are unable to pay off the balance of your credit card in the month that the charges are made, you should make a plan to pay as much as you can from your monthly income until the debt is repaid. Paying off the debt quickly will keep your credit score high and ensures you will have credit available for any unexpected expenses that occur in the future.
Getting the best financial product for a borrower’s needs can help them improve their financial standing and solve many of their financial issues. There are many financial products available today from numerous banks and lenders, so it is important to review the features of each financial product to determine which one provides the borrower with the most benefit. Here are some indications that will show a borrower that they are getting the best financial product they qualify for.
Low Interest Rate
The interest rate that a borrower pays for the financial product is one of the most important indicators of the suitability of a financial product. The interest rate is determined the lender and often depends on the borrower’s credit score at the time of the application. Some financial products have a fixed interest rate for the entire term, while some others have an adjustable interest rate that can fluctuate both higher and lower. Depending on the value of the underlying financial product, a difference of a few percentage points could end up saving the person hundreds of dollars over the entire repayment term.
The repayment terms of the financial product must also be considered before making a decision on which one to choose. Some financial products are written for a period of several months while some others are repaid over several years. Financial products with longer terms generally have lower monthly payments but cost more when interest charges are factored in. Shorter terms translate into less paid in interest, but higher payments are required to pay down the principal within the time frame allowed.
Having a low interest rate and reasonable terms are great, but to ensure that everything about the financial product and the repayment terms are on the level, the borrower should choose a reputable lender to obtain their financial products from. Using the internet, a borrower can quickly find important information about the lenders they are considering, including news articles and customer reviews about their business practices. If much of the information found on a particular lender were negative, it would be best for the borrower to save themselves the potential headache and choose another lender with a better reputation.
A crowd of college students at the 2007 Pittsburgh University Commencement. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of the biggest concerns among young people today is personal finance. With the cost of living increasing, it’s harder than ever for U.S. citizens to comfortably make ends meet. Given that the cost of college tuition continues to rise, some young adults believe skipping college may make the most financial sense. However, obtaining a college degree remains integral to the future of your financial stability. Here are six reasons why you simply can’t afford to skip college.
You’ll Have More Job Security
With a college degree, you can ensure greater work security throughout your life by possessing the necessary knowledge and skills to make you an indispensable part of the workforce. Studies show that college graduates between the ages of 25 and 32 have a significantly lower rate of unemployment at only 3.8 percent. This compares to 12.2 percent for high school graduates.
Additionally, college grads have a higher rate of full-time employment at 89 percent, compared to 82 percent for high school graduates. Of those with a high school diploma or less, nearly 22 percent are living below the poverty line, compared to only 6 percent of college graduates. Having a college degree will make you more desirable in the workforce, thereby increasing your chances of employment.
You’ll Earn More Money
On average, people with only a high school diploma earn roughly $1.3 million within their lifetime. Those with a college degree earn almost twice that at $2.3 million, with doctorate holders accruing around $3.3 million in their lifetime. Keep in mind that college is an investment, and, as with any investment, it’s important to invest wisely by picking an appropriate field of study.
Engineers tend to have the highest average salaries, followed by those majoring in finance or computer science. Those with liberal arts degrees tend to make, on average, below $1 million per year. Nursing informatics programs are a rapidly emerging educational prospect that offer stable salaries and excellent employee benefits, with median salaries around $88,000 per year.
You’ll Be More Marketable
Interviewing for jobs is an intimidating experience. However, when you possess marketable skills such as a college degree, it gives you greater leverage when finding a job. A college degree will make you look more intelligent and capable, allowing you greater potential to negotiate higher starting salaries than you could with only a high school diploma.
This is especially true if you upgrade your education once you already have a job in your desired field. It is now possible to earn your bachelor’s degree, find a job, and then take online courses to attain your master’s or doctorate degree. Once you have a graduate degree, your job prospects grow exponentially and since you can go back to school in your spare time while working during the day, you can avoid the debt load that often goes along with advanced degrees. Because of this option, you can continually improve your career prospects and will never end up stuck in a job that you do not enjoy.
You’ll Be Eligible for Better Benefits
The better a job you are able to land, the better benefits will likely accompany it. Those with only high school diplomas are less likely to receive full-time employment, and are therefore less likely to receive benefits such as healthcare, dental care, and a matching 401(k).
You’ll Rise in the Workplace More Rapidly
College graduates become eligible for promotion at a higher rate than people with only a high school diploma. Additionally, roughly 86 percent of college graduates between the ages of 25 and 32 report that their current job has the potential to become a long-term career. This compares to only 57 percent of high school graduates.
You’ll Be Wiser in the Realm of Investing
Those with more advanced education tend to possess higher critical thinking abilities and make smarter investing choices. Additionally, having a wider range of jobs available to you will allow you to choose a job with a matching 401(k), which will greatly improve your investing potential.
While many young adults are worried about the debt they may accrue with college, research emphatically shows that, even incorporating debt, college graduates experience more financial security than those with a high school diploma. If you are concerned about your current or future economic situation, then obtaining advanced education in a stable field of study is critical. It will pave the way for more job prospects, better job benefits, and increased wages throughout your life.