There is a lot more to banking than simply opening a checking account with your most convenient local bank and forgetting about your money. Today, there are more options for consumers in banking than ever, and it’s important to understand how banks work to help make your money grow over time. It’s important to educate yourself about your bank’s policies and terms and understand what you’re paying for each month. Here are some essential tips to help make your bank account balance grow this month.
Choose the Right Bank
The first step of being a savvy banking consumer is to choose the right place to start your account. There are plenty of options for bank accounts today, such as traditional brick and mortar banks, online banks, credit unions, and investment banks. Before committing to one bank, check out their terms for checking and savings accounts, their fees, and most importantly, the interest rate you earn.
Use Direct Deposit
Next, make sure you opt for direct deposit with your employer for your pay. For most direct deposit scenarios, you can control the amount put into your account, which is useful if you have more than one account. This also eliminates the step of going to the bank in person and depositing your check through a teller or a machine. Instead, your money appears in your account immediately on payday.
Adjust Your Withholding Status
Besides your choice of bank, the way you have your taxes and withholding status set can also impact the amount of pay you receive each month. Make sure you check with your employer to see if you’re taking advantage of the new tax laws. Ask to see your W-4 form and make the necessary adjustments to your withholding tax.
Control Your Spending
Of course, there’s no way to make your money grow each month if you don’t have your spending under control. Take steps to cut back on wasteful expenses, such as going out to eat, buying clothes, or upgrading your electronic devices. Check out your recurring monthly bills and evaluate insurance expenses to see how you can reduce your costs even more. As you cut back, resist the urge to spend your new cash on a big purchase or book a fancy vacation. Focus on the end goal of a retirement plan or a stash of savings.
Monitor for Fraudulent Activity
The last important tip to help keep your bank account steadily growing is to monitor for fraudulent activity. Unfortunately, it’s increasingly common for consumers to find fraudulent charges on their statement from time to time. Online shopping, credit card data breaches, and computer hacking have made this a big problem. When that happens, make sure you contact your bank account customer service department immediately. This way, you won’t be liable for the charges and you can get a new bank card and a more secure account right away.
It’s important to make some small changes to your routine to help make your money grow this year and for the future. Doing so could you put you in the perfect position for a comfortable retirement and easy lifestyle many years from now.