If you’ve recently graduated from college you may have already received your first paycheck and with it got your first checking account fee. The thing is, as a student oftentimes you’ll be able to get a free checking account. That’s what the banks lure you in with and, once they have you, they will start to tack on all sorts of fees that you may miss because you’re not used to seeing them. With that in mind we’ve put together a short list of the things that you need to be aware of when you first start banking in your 20’s.
Tip – Know all of the fees that are associated with your specific account. There will be certain fees that you will be able to avoid but if you don’t know them you won’t be able to avoid them. The best thing to do is sit down with a rep at your bank and ask. They are obliged to tell you and give you all the info necessary.
Tip – Remember that you purchasing habits are being watched. Today every move you make is being followed electronically. What this means is that your debit and credit card purchases are being analyzed by lenders and they can (and will) use this information to determine what your rates should be and if you should be allowed to get more credit or not. If you’re prone to making silly financial mistakes do them with cash instead.
Tip – Avoid transfer fees as much as possible. Any bank you use wants you to keep your money in 1 place – their bank. If you transfer it they’re going to charge you fees to do so and they can sometimes be pretty exorbitant. Better to budget yourself well and avoid them.
Tip – Start saving NOW. Yes, you’ve probably heard it already from mom and dad and any other responsible adult but the fact is that there will come a day when you’ll need money but won’t want (or be able to) work anymore. The earlier you start saving for retirement the easier it’s going to be once you arrive there. Yes it won’t be for a few years but even still you should have a substantial amount of money saved for emergencies. Shoot for 10 to 15% of your pay but do something to get started NOW like having a specific amount deposited directly into your savings account every week.
Finally, keep a vigilant eye on your account(s) online and check the balance against your receipts often. Banks make mistakes and if you catch them you may save yourself a lot of hassle and headaches. Plus if youmake one it’s better that you catch it before you overdraw your account and get smacked with fees.