Finding the Right Bank Without Fees – If you’re being charged a monthly fee at your bank, it’s time to check out these better, free options.
Let’s talk about something that we all need to use, but not all of us know that we’re getting ripped off. I’m talking about banks.
We all need to have a bank in some way, whether it’s to pay the bills, get direct deposits, or just to keep your money from being stored in a mattress. But finding the right bank without fees can really be the difference between overdrawing your account, or putting $300 or more into a savings account each year.
Earlier this week, there was a heated discussion over one of my posts, The 6 Bank Accounts that Your Family NEEDS. It brought a lively discussion and was really a great place for people to talk to each other about banks. But the most interesting thing that came out was that most of the people were just shocked that I’d be willing to pay the monthly fees for so many bank accounts!
What shocked me was that there were still people who paid monthly fees for their checking accounts!
Having a great bank is really the cornerstone of my whole financial philosophy. Without my great bank, I could never have all of my different checking accounts and move money around as I need to.
Having multiple checking and savings accounts in our house is just normal. There are checking accounts for:
- My husband (remember, I make him have his own account)
- As well as our primary checking account.
We also have multiple savings accounts. Each one of the savings accounts is for a different savings goal.
- There is the 3-month emergency fund which has three months of our emergency spending saved up just in case of an injury of my husband at work or something else unforeseen happens.
- We also have $1,000 emergency fund that is just for things like emergency medical expenses or an emergency car repair. Things like that.
- We have a vacation fund so that we can pay for our vacation without ever dipping into our serious savings accounts.
- There is also a Christmas fund. Yup, we save all year for Christmas, but we still have very strict budgets for everyone.
But I never realized exactly how many people thought that I was crazy. Not just for having so many accounts, but also for having to pay for all of those account fees every month! So how do we afford all of these accounts?
The answer is really simple: we don’t pay any fees.
We have a bank that is free. There’s no punishment for having too low of a balance, we don’t have to pay a monthly fee if we are under the minimum, and we don’t even have to pay a monthly maintenance fee.
When I explain this to people this sounds like complete and utter lunacy. They think I’m crazy. They think I’m lying about it too!
I’m telling you right now if you have a bank that is charging you a monthly fee to put your money in there, you need to find a new bank. There is no question about that at all. There are far too many banks out there that will work with you for free. And I want to introduce them to you right now.
Everything is done online and I’ve never had a problem with them. If I have to transfer money in between any of my accounts it’s really easy to do and it’s instant. There’s no waiting around for the money to appear in a different account.
Also, they reimburse any ATM fee! It’s amazing!
The trick with USAA is that you have to be a member of the military or have a family member who was a member of the military. I’m lucky enough that my grandfather was an Airforce pilot and so we got are USAA membership through him. If you have a parent or grandparent who has been in the military at some point in their life, call USAA right now and see if you qualify for them.
This is another bank that I have personally not used but I know plenty of people who have. They have zero bank fees for their checking and savings accounts and no limit to the number of accounts that you can open.
From my understanding, Ally Bank is an all online bank. You can take a picture of your checks with your phone and deposit them that way. It’s a lot simpler than it sounds trust me!
See for yourself about their free checking. (I’m not paid by Ally, I’m just a HUGE fan of anything that will save you money!)
They have a specific “safe to spend” amount of money that it will show you on your phone the amount of money that you have in your account that is actually safe to spend that isn’t going to go to paying your bills or reaching your goals.
This is another online-only bank but they have great customer service as well. And when it comes to depositing checks, all you have to do is take a picture of the check with your phone and it’s done.
See if Simple Bank is for you (again, totally not paid by Simple; just love free stuff for you!)
Your Local Credit Union
I’ve only ever heard great things about credit unions. They offer competitive interest rates on savings accounts and are very user and customer-friendly.
If you prefer a bank that has a physical location near you, I really encourage you to check out your credit unions before you check out the smaller banks in your area.
Warning: don’t just think that because you live in an area that only has one local bank that your banking options are limited to just them.
That’s exactly what these banks want you to think. They will prey on people who think that they have no other option and they will use that fear to really make sure that no matter what they do or how many extra fees and charges they can throw at you, at the end of the day, you still don’t have any other options.
That’s what they want you to think. But that’s not true! You can always use an online bank no matter where you are located. Don’t fall for their attempts to make you think that they are your only option.
It’s also really important to mention not to be afraid of online banks.
It seems as though this is the way that technology is moving and phasing out the whole brick-and-mortar buildings. It’s a lot easier for these online banks to offer you such great rates and no fees and ATM reimbursements. This is because they don’t have as much overhead to pay each month that a bank that has a ton of different branches has.
I’ve spoken with a lot of people who have told me that they are just not comfortable with putting money in an online bank. And I will be really honest, I felt the same way at first!
But once I saw the difference in the quality of service that I got as well as all of the other monetary and financial options that I got, I became confident that this was the best choice for me.
If you are feeling stuck in your current financial situation, I encourage you to look at your bank. Your bank is a real tool that can either make or break you and your financial goals.
If you are being constantly consumed with worry about monthly fees heading your account and whether or not you’re going to be able to pay for your bank account fee or buy a tank of gas, it’s time to change banks.
Tough love here, but I really mean it: find a new bank.
There are far too many options out there that are not only user-friendly but will also save you tons and tons of money. You might not think initially that that $25 a month really matters and that you’d rather stick with your current account.
But in reality, that’s $300 a year.
That’s $300 that you could be putting toward a different goal. You could go on vacation. You could pay off a credit card. Or you can put that all to a student loan. The possibilities are really endless. But not when all of your money is going to your bank.
There are so many options out there for you to choose from. If you are feeling done and fed up with your bank, check out what other options there are for you. I promise you are going to find something that will knock your socks off!
What bank do you use? Do you like them? Tell us in the comments and help each other out!
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