Fiscally Fit Money Saving Tip #1 – Make money on the money you make
A good friend of mine said: “Make money on the money you make”. Even when you are sleeping, your money should be working for you. For example: Do you have a checking account that earns interest? It is surprising how many people keep relatively large balances in non-interest bearing accounts. Even a little interest can add up to a lot over a period of time.
Search out financial institutions that offer no-fee interest checking accounts that have low or no minimum balances. Many credit unions offer these types of programs. Sometimes you don’t have to be a direct credit union member because family members of credit union members can also open accounts or some office buildings offer credit union affiliate programs with all their tenants.
Sometimes banks offer no-fee interest checking accounts if you “auto deposit” your paycheck. Some investment accounts offer checking account features for no extra charge. Look for periodic special promotions run by new banks opening in your neighborhood. Many smaller community banks offer accounts with more benefits to compete with the larger banks. One cautionary note is that small, relatively new banks may go out of business so make sure you periodically check their rating on bankrate.com to make sure they are not in trouble.
If you are unable to find a good interest bearing checking account because the minimum balance is too high or the bank charges a monthly fee, consider opening a savings account in the same bank. Keep all your money in the savings account, earning interest, and transfer funds into your checking only as needed (when paying bills). Today, it is so easy to transfer money via the telephone or through Internet banking so why keep any cash in a non-interest bearing account.
Although interest rates are very low today, whatever you earn is free money and there is a high likelihood that rates will start rising towards the end of 2015. Always make sure your money is working for you.
Also save money by avoiding paying any fees for financial services. Use only no-fee accounts and no-fee credit cards. Plan ahead and avoid using ATM or other “cash-on-demand” services that charge a fee. There are so many financial institutions competing for your business. Search out the ones that are willing to PAY you for the privilege of holding your money.