How to get more benefits from your bank

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    Every kobo counts; so is where you keep it. A bank account is something you use every day of your life. Whether you are just starting out or have had the same account for decades, it makes sense to take a look at how you bank – and what it is costing you, says www.blueshorefinancial.com inot a report.

    These days, many people are looking for ways to save, which should include where to keep money and how to access it.

    Electronic banking has dramatically changed how people manage their finances.

    Does your current account reflect that? Are you paying for features you don’t need? Or paying extra for features you do? Here are some tips to help you determine whether you are getting the most from your bank account.

    Make sure your account matches your banking style

    Take a look at how you bank these days. Have your habits or circumstances changed? For example, do you find yourself paying more and more by debit card?

    Consolidate your accounts

    Like many people, you may have several bank accounts, perhaps at multiple financial institutions. Are you using them? Do you need them? For example, you could be paying monthly fees on a chequing account you don’t use or paying taxes on interest earned in a savings account that could be converted . It may make sense to consolidate your accounts.

    Are you maintaining your minimum balance?

    Some accounts waive your monthly fee if you keep a minimum balance. But if you find your finances often dip below it, you may want to transfer to a pay-as-you-go chequing account, which has no fees and also lets you earn interest on your balance.

    Avoid expensive fees

    Do you have a lot of pre-authorised payments from your account? Phone, cable, home or car insurance? Just one NSF (non-sufficient funds) charge can cost you a lot. Check into overdraft protection. It costs nothing to have it on stand-by and it kicks in only when you need it. In the event of a shortfall, overdraft protection ensures your payments are made – seamlessly. You are only charged interest on the amount required for as long as it is needed.

    Bank online

    These days, there is no need to do many banking activities in person. Paying bills online and setting up pre-authorised payments, transfers and deposits saves you a lot of time – and money. Having your salary directly deposited is also convenient and dependable, reducing your service charges.

    Be ATM smart

    Are you constantly stopping by the ATMs to grab small amounts of cash? Consider asking for cash back when using your debit card if the retailer offers that service.

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