Money might not buy happiness, but it can represent a host of different things: freedom, time, work, power, effort and dreams for the future. You probably already know not to stash your hard-earned dough under the mattress, but do you know how to decide where your money ought to be kept? Here are a few things to consider when you’re shopping for a new bank.
What Services Do They Offer?
You might need more basic account types such as checking and savings, or you might be interested in a mutual fund, certificate of deposit or credit line. Check out what each bank offers and consider if it might fit your needs. Beyond account types, financial institutions can also provide currency exchange, loan advancement, expert witness services and overdraft protection. While you’re looking, make sure your bank is FDIC-insured and, especially if it’s an online institution, has stringent security measures in place.
What Fees Do They Charge?
Many banks offer promotions and specials with low fees. Often, fees are even waived when you commit to a certain amount of time in your account. Pay attention to recurring monthly maintenance fees as well as one-time charges for overdrafts and ATM uses. These costs can be waived if you meet certain requirements (usually having a minimum account balance), so they aren’t always a major concern if you know you’ll meet the prerequisites.
What Features Do They Advertise?
Certain aspects of budgeting can be made easier by technology, and many banks have taken advantage of this. Online banks and credit unions can be an excellent choice for convenience. Some features that customers love include automatic bill pay, online check deposits and budgeting services with financing apps. While a vast digital technology array does not a safe and secure bank make, it certainly can help with fitting financial planning into your lifestyle.
What Endorsements Do They Garner?
A bank doesn’t need to have the highest praise of celebrities or venture capitalists to be an excellent option. Look up reviews online and pay attention to recurring themes. Just remember that people can sometimes wait until they have a grievance before they leave a review, so often, the most honest reviews lie somewhere in the middle.
Choosing a bank might have you feeling like your mattress is the best place after all, but don’t worry. Your choice of where to keep your funds is yours alone, and you can always revisit the decision in the future. The best time to start your wealth-building journey is now.