We are now done with our previous series and are starting a new set of articles related to financial basics in your 20s. As a young professional you have experience plenty and absorbed lots of different information while in college and working your way up the corporate ranks. The sad reality is that many of us don’t learn enough about personal finance basics. This is where personal finance blogs come in handy.
Today we’re going to talk about personal savings accounts. We will save the discussion on business savings accounts for another day. When looking around for the best bank account you’re going to encounter various different types of banking issues. This is why I wanted to outline what you need to look for as you attempt to find yourself a savings account.
What are some basic saving account needs that should be met?
No minimum balance.
A common banking trick is to require you to have a minimum balance. Some banks will leave this at $1,000, while other banks will expect you to maintain a minimum balance of over five grand. You don’t want to get fooled by banks with one of the oldest tricks in the book. You should be able to have as much or as little money in your savings account as you want. After all it is YOUR account. The other issue is that not all of us want to store our money in one banking account. I personally have my savings spread out over a few accounts. ING is one of them and then I save money under different labels for my many financial goals.
I was shocked when my old bank told me that there was a limit on how many transactions I could make with my bank account. Any transaction that went over the monthly limit would come with a charge. This really frustrated me because I like to move my money around fairly frequently. Why should I get penalized for this? When considering your saving accounts needs you need to keep in mind that you’re going to want to have flexibility with your money moves. Some of us keep our money in one place, while others like to move their money around frequently. Either way you want the option to be available to you if you ever decide that you want to make some different moves.
Free checking account.
As a complementary product with my savings account, ING Direct has offered me a free savings account. This doesn’t mean that ING offers the best bank account, but it’s a great bonus to have a free checking account. The days are gone where big banks nickel-and-dime us and make money off us from every angle. A free checking account is must these days. I strongly urge that you don’t sign up with a savings account if they’re not willing to offer you a free checking account. Think of all of the money you may have spent on checking account fees in the past year alone. I was shocked one month when my bank had the nerve to charge me about $20 for transactions on my checking account. This was the day that I knew I needed to find a free checking account.
Since you’re trusting this company with your hard earned money, you deserve some quality service and assistance. Money issues and any problems related to fraud can be very stressful. This is where a helpful support staff comes into play. I personally feel better knowing that I can contact my bank at any time of the day to inquire about any issues. The other month my account was frozen. I was really frustrated until I found out the reason why. I used my debit card at a machine where I normally wouldn’t. Just as a safe precaution my bank froze my account because this was an usual transaction. The good part of this story is that it showed that the bank takes client safety very seriously.
At the end of the day I just want to assure you guys that meeting your savings account needs should be fairly simple. Once you take care of your banking situation you can move on with your life and focus on what truly matters. Once you find the right savings account you can passively manage your money and maybe only check in once in a while to ensure that everything is running smoothly.
What are your saving accounts needs?
(photo credit: turbografx16)