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A Quick Banking Overview

Written by Cameron, Monday, November 3rd, 2008 in Finance

I was sitting reading well-cultured when I had realized that one of the most important financial pieces that could ever be included was left out, banking, or more like saving money specifically. Even in our economic string of bad luck (failure) people still manage to function, I still fill my gas tank and buy a hot latte now and again. The reason I do is because I have some assurance that my money is relatively safe. I put my money in a bank just like my parents do, and their parent’s did, so on and so forth…

When I was going to put some money away for whatever the hell I might want to save it for I was thinking that my mattress was a fine idea. Wrong. I later found out that some money was to be made off of this system and I thought I’d let you in on it. At first I was a little critical about the thought of a bunch of Jews handling my money. Then, lending it out to other people, but I got over it rather quickly after I did some interest related math.

Enough about my experiences and on to how to do it.
Firstly, I chose a bank, WaMu (Washington Mutual), based on location and general size of the bank. I think that large banks are just money hungry, but they are a lot more stable than the back-alley bank with a BS 23% APY(Yearly interest). On that note that 23% means the bank is offering a ridiculous rate because it needs/wants a metric ton more customers. There are banks across the US, UK, G7, and almost anywhere there is a people with money. So just pick one near you.
Before you just go and sign yourself up for a savings account with volcano insurance. Look around at interest rates and features of the account. My account has 1.5% interest rate (lame BTW), an automatic savings plan, and no withdrawal fees. Different accounts and different banks offer similar stuff, but with a different twist. Some banks flaunt their ‘super-high’ interest rates without showing a competitor’s rates; they are usually getting their rear kicked by another bank. Some banks just don’t tell you flat out what the rates are, so you have a lot more homework to do.
I have seen a lot of banks have these nifty gimmicks. Some are good ideas and others are stupid, but if you like frills and sparkles on you account go ahead. All I am getting at is the fact that banks will all be different. Find an account or bank you like simply by looking on-line. There is a personal fear of mine when I think of on-line banking. and that is the very thing you are Anonymous and it scares the crap out of me. So now I do all of my banking in person. Thanks.
I use my savings account for a kind of ‘near money’ as in, not quite cash, or a check, but if I wanted a computer I could get it a little later. I keep extra cash in it and make moderately large purchases. You could have just a checking account, but I guarantee that you won’t be saving much money that way. You need to have a generalized financial goal in mind when you start banking, and not just meh I’ll put my change jar in here and pull it all out after a week. It is a little more long-term than that.
A little tidbit for you. My personal favorite way to save money is 5-10% of my paycheck to my savings. I may not end up a bajillionaire but I know that I have some monetary security of a couple thousand to hold me over in case something should happen. Something like me losing my job, a big ticket, getting sued, or wanting a new awesome computer. You could just do this until you could afford something as small as a new iPod.
Banks really don’t care if you are poor-as-dirt they will still charge you for a bounced check or an overdrawn account (Pulling more out of savings than you have.) I have a debit card and I overdrew, and had to pay something like $22 for every something I went over. Thank God it was only like $10 overdrawn! Also on that note I have to have a minimum of $5000 in my account to avoid a $15 fee every month. I haven’t yet had $5ooo in my account but I thought I’d warn you now so you weren’t like, “What the hell!?!? A $15 fee?!? That bastard! He never told me ”
Either way you should still do your homework on your bank before you sign up. As it turns out people can do their homework, and a little more. These people now do a ton of banking to make a living. They worked until he had enough money in their accounts to live off. Then, they kept managing their money, and putting more into the accounts as they worked. They can then retire and live solely on the interest generated by these accounts. Cool huh? too bad it takes 30+ years of investing and managing money to do so. Another thing that could be done is save like $100,000 @ 2.5% and add 2500 to your income every year.
In the end you will want to find a banking establishment. Plan out what you want to do with your finances in either the long or short-term. Pick the account type that you want, including all of the ‘gimmicks’ and fringe benefits (frills). Have some sort of savings plan, like a few bucks a week to savings or a thousand a quarter in the bank. DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!! I cannot stress this adequately. If you fail at this you could screw up the whole thing and end up with a pile of fees and owe the bank money for some gay charge you had overlooked, TL;DR, Read the fine print. “The bold giveth, The fine print taketh away.” A savings account can be tooled to your likeing so browse a bit before you sit down and talk about the deal.

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One Response to A Quick Banking Overview

  1. David says:

    Hello guys,

    Could you please separate paragraphs with a blank line? It would make reading well-cultured so much easier.

    Thank you!

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