Let’s talk about beating the banks! In order to get ahead in life, you need to have a sound financial plan. As part of your plan, you presumably know it’s crucial to save as much as you can and not waste money foolishly. What you may not know is how much of your hard-earned cash can slip through your fingers if you aren’t cautious.

A lot of individuals spend money without even realizing it by going to the bank. You should be frugal in order to beat the banks and save your hard-earned money!

Here we explain how to beat the banks!

Why shop around for banks

Banks and credit unions have special promotions all of the time. They all have marketing departments whose job is to entice you to become a customer. They’re always coming up with innovative ways to entice you.

You may lose that great offer you received last week if you neglect to take advantage of it. Additionally, there are a surprising number of great deals available if you are not able to find anything that you like at your bank. Wait a few weeks and you will find a wonderful offer. There will be a change!

Search around different banks to see what they’re offering as well. Local banks often offer different promotional offers so it pays to shop around at different banks to see what the options are.

There’s no need to use just one bank. You should probably keep accounts with multiple banks.

How to organize your accounts

There are many ways to organize your checking and savings accounts. If you want to beat the banks and avoid paying fees, some methods are better than others. I enjoy having multiple bank accounts.

Checking account at a local bank

It is best to have a bank account at a local bank. You should be able to obtain funds in your bank account at any time of day or night if necessary.

When looking for a good checking account, visit several local bank websites and see what kinds of checking accounts they have available.

Find one with no fees or very low fees and low minimum balance requirements. Just because you’ve always banked at a certain bank doesn’t mean you have to stay with them for their whole life!

Savings account at an online bank

I like to keep my savings account at an online bank so I can beat the banks at their own game. It’s important that my funds are accessible as soon as possible, which is why having access to savings accounts with an online bank is perfectly fine.

The payoff will be higher interest rates! Online banks do not have brick and mortar buildings to pay for, so they are able to offer higher interest rates.

Multiple savings accounts based on savings goals

Another way I beat the banks is to have savings accounts for savings milestones such as my emergency fund. I like to have online savings accounts for longer-term savings goals like my emergency reserve fund.

I also have a savings account at a bank, which is separate from where I have my account there. This savings account is for our vacation fund and our Christmas account. Physicians often say I’ll require money this year, but not right away.

Finally, I have a savings account at the same bank where I have my checking account. Transferring funds between the two accounts is quick and easy.

Retirement savings accounts

Government studies suggest that 1 in 4 Americans do not have an retirement savings account, but it is an essential part of your financial plan. If you have an employer-sponsored retirement savings account, be sure to utilize it.

While the costs of these deals might not be under your control, they often include a matchup to a specified percentage. Most providers offer a 100% matching contribution for donations up to 6%. This means that if you put up to 6% of your pre-tax paycheck into your 401k, they will also contribute up to 6% to your retirement savings as well.

So, take the free money while you’re doing work. But you have the option of rolling over your 401(k) into a traditional IRA with much lower fees if you changed jobs.

Also, if you open an IRA, you can invest in the entire stock market and purchase cryptocurrencies as well.

When it comes to beating the banks, consider hiring a broker to help you find IRAs and other retirement savings accounts that charge a fee of 0% or lower costs. Protect your retirement accounts against hidden fees as well.

How to avoid bank fees and beat the banks

Here are some important tips to help you avoid paying those annoying ATM fees!

Find accounts with no maintenance fees

The cost for most checking accounts paying interest is over $15 per month. This cost should not be included in your monthly expenses.

So, the first method to avoid bank fees and beat the banks is to find accounts with no fees. It’s also easier to find savings accounts with no fees, but it’s possible to find free checking accounts, too.

Banks and credit unions sometimes offer free checking. In fact, many institutions now offer free checking accounts. A quick internet search for free checking accounts in your location can allow you to narrow down your choices.

Keep More Money In Your Pockets
Keep More Money In Your Pockets

There are many online-only banks that do not charge a fee or charge a very low fee. You should definitely consider online banking.

Keep minimums to avoid balance requirement fees

While there are a few free checking accounts available, most have minimum balance requirements. For example, you can beat the banks and avoid the $10 monthly fee by paying at least $500 per day.

You may also avoid the monthly fee if you have a bank account balance of $500 or more. Either option shouldn’t be too tricky for most people.

Don’t bounce checks

Most people do not submit checks anymore. And this could be a good thing. Tests seem so antiquated. But there are times in which there is no alternative to writing a test.

So, be sure to keep all test results you take. This is critical because you do not want to pay a high cost for a non-sufficient funds payment!

Budgets are just one reason that you need a financial plan. A financial plan puts you in charge of your finances. Budgets allow you to invest your money as you see fit. Many people believe a budget is restrictive but actually, the opposite is true. If you don’t have funds, you need them.

Avoid fees for non-sufficient funds

Banks also charge a non-sufficient funds fee whenever you don’t have enough in your account to cover your purchases. These charges are substantial! The average NSF (nonsufficient funds) fees start at about $30 and increase from there.

And, if you have many transactions that go through, you’ll face a fee for each transaction. So a major way to avoid the banks is to make sure your funds are sufficient for all transactions. Don’t do it!

How to make credit cards work for you

If you aren’t using credit cards to pay your bills, you’re losing a lot of money. If you play your cards right, this is one area where you can start beating the banks.

Take advantage of intro offers & signup bonuses

I mentioned before that banks would like your business. Huge business opportunities include your credit card business. Banks make money not only on any money you don’t pay but on the interchange, too.

This bank gives you a small percentage of your purchase when you use your debit card. For that reason, they run some pretty great introductory offers and bonus programs to encourage your loyalty.

Pay your balance in full each month

Whether you pay or not, be sure to pay off your credit card balance each month. Defeat the banks at their own game by paying no interest!

If you default on your payments each month, then any bonus you receive will be negated by the interest you are charged. Be responsible and only spend what you can afford to pay each month.

How to get your loan rates lowered

Unfortunately, if you have received a loan, you cannot change anything about it. However, there are other things you can do to help reduce the amount of interest you pay.

Research what other banks are offering

If you are concerned about getting a new loan, shop around to see what other loan providers are charging. Just because you got a loan several years ago does not mean you are stuck with it.

You can get a new loan with an improved interest rate at a second bank and then pay off your original loan. And if you choose a secured loan, your loan interest rate will be lower.

Reach out to your bank to negotiate

Call your bank to see if they’ll give you a discount. Many large banks won’t be willing to negotiate, but you never know what they will decide. They may be able to assist you if you’ve paid your loan off in a timely fashion.

If you have a suggestion for what the interest rates are at other nearby banks, that piece of information will help you. Smaller financial institutions and credit unions may have lower interest rates and may be easier to negotiate with.

You can start beating the banks!

As you can see, there are many effective ways for you to beat the banks and keep more of your money in your pockets.

All you need to do is do a little research to find out what banks are providing and spend some time organizing your finances. When you do these things, you’re likely to come out ahead!


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