Let’s make banking simple and easy. That’s only possible once you understand how it all works. Here we will explore the nuts and bolts of banking. It makes it a lot harder to save and make good financial choices, if you are foggy on when you can access your funds, how many times you can make withdrawals, or how to maximize your interest. Chances are you need a bank to meet your financial goals, so you might as well learn how to use it to your advantage.
Discretionary Dollar Banking
Rewards points are certainly not new. Nearly every major credit card, bank or airline has their own form of currency called miles, rewards, points or something else. Companies “reward” you to build customer loyalty and return business for simply using their company’s credit card or purchasing their company’s product. However, with some forethought and a few minor changes in your habits, you can convert your rewards points into cash.
Spend a Dollar to Save a Penny
Let’s be clear here. Spending a dollar to make a fraction of a dollar isn’t usually a good strategy. However, if you already must purchase a product why not benefit a little from it.
We do our best to maximize our rewards and usually end up with about $1000 a year in cash. We put this bonus in our replacement fund which we use each year for trips and vacations. Not a bad starting point.
Paper litters nearly every aspect of our life. Not only is paper a nuisance, but for every piece of paper you decide to keep, you have to organize, store and manage it. What a waste of time and resources.
Is your desk covered with neat (or messy) stacks of paper? Do you find it frustrating to find documents in a file cabinet? Tired of having stacks of mail and paper clutter your life? Are you interested in simplifying your life and spending more time doing the things you love?
Here are just a few reasons to work towards eliminating the endless stream of paper.
Stop Writing Checks
1. Use Online banking
Some smaller banks are still catching up but the larger banks have done a great job of giving you all the tools you need online. If you aren’t using online banking then tracking your expenses will be much more difficult and may require far too much time and effort.
The biggest drawback to going cashless is the problem of uninformed merchants charging minimums or transaction fees. So are you tired of getting nickel and dimed as you go to use your credit or check cards?
If you are still unclear on the different types of debit/check cards, be sure to read Credit or Debit? Plastic Explained first.
Merchants see credit transactions as an additional cost. In general store owners pay between 1-3% per transaction to process your card. They also have a fixed transaction cost ranging from .15 cents to .45 cents. Different accounts have their own prices, but that’s generally the structure.
You might have a good idea about how your cards work, but it seems there is still a whole lot of confusion on what types of plastics are out there. Your bank sends you a card, but what does it really do?
Credit Card - Most Widely Understood.
This is not your money. You simply sign and present this card when you purchase something. You can use it interest free for about 30 days, then you must pay it off, or make minimum payments plus interest.