To save money you need to manage it. If you expect to save money you need to be a bit savvy with the little bit of cash you have:
- Get a free checking and savings account. The bank will nickel and dime you on dumb stuff like too many ATM withdrawals, too many checks written, or a funds transfer. Shop the town for banks catering to students. Make sure you can access online banking, pay bills and manage your account without attached fees.
- Take the free checks that the bank offers in the maximum amount they allow. If you need more, you simply go online and order more, but leftover checks are more typical than not, especially with online bill pay options becoming more commonplace. Extra checks become nothing more than wasted paper and wasted dollars.
- Failure to keep track of your bank/checking account can easily cost you money via overdraft fees. Your debit card can easily get you into the red if you don’t know what’s in your checking account. Think your card will be declined if your account has insufficient funds? Think again.
- If you go into the red in your checking account, your debit card will usually continue to work without even so much as a burp. Every time you make a debit card purchase while you have insufficient funds in your checking account you are also being slammed with a banking fee. Unless you have an automatic overdraft protection that enables funds from your savings account to be transferred, you can be way more broke than you ever imagined in one, short weekend. Make sure you know what banking fees you’ll be spanked with if you make a mistake.
- If you have to have a credit card, make sure you get one with the lowest interest rate possible; no annual fees and with only enough of a credit limit to get you by in an emergency. Don’t carry it with you, but instead keep it in a safe place known only to you.
- Pay credit card bills on time. Companies charge late fees, sometimes as much as $50 per month. And do not go over your credit limit—that offers just one more way for your credit card company to get rich off your poor judgment.
- Serious about saving money, huh? For one month save every receipt of everything you purchase, from a pack of gum, a tube of toothpaste to your computer. Log each expense in a notebook. When the month is up, tally up what you’ve spent and take a good look at just where most of it went. Food? Beer? Gas? Games? This sure fire technique will unabashedly expose the evils of your spending ways.
- Save that spare change you’ve got jangling in your pocket or sloshing around in the bottom of your backpack or purse in a big jar or can somewhere out of the way.
- Count and roll spare change yourself.
Stay away from those coin-counting machines you see at the grocery store. They will rip you off or at the very least charge you a fee.
- Interest Checking Account (ally.com)
- Bank fees soar, free-checking offers decline (bottomline.nbcnews.com)
- Banks up number of strings on checking (bottomline.nbcnews.com)
- Is Prepaid the Future of Plastic? Fee-Hungry Banks Hope So (dailyfinance.com)
- Types of Debit Cards (cardhub.com)