Many consumers do not often think much about their bank unless there is an accounting discrepancy or fees have been raided noticeably, but re-evaluating your financial institution is something you should consider when trying to reduce your overall expenses. When people first open an account at a bank, they usually select a branch that is convenient to work or home or on the advice of a family member, coworker, or friend who also banks there. Some people also choose a bank based on special promotional offers that were running at the time, such as free checking or savings accounts. However, as years move along not only do your financial needs change, but your bank’s operational methods changes as well. What captured your patronage in the beginning may not longer be relevant to your current situation.
Often people underestimate the real costs of maintaining their accounts with their chosen financial institution. What was once a free checking account may have evolved over the years into a low-cost checking account. Customers do not take into consideration that the various monthly fees they may pay to simply have account is indeed an expense and they fail to include such banking fees into their monthly budget. ATM fees and other charges associated with bank related debt or check cards can often be twofold; you get hit once with a fee from the ATM owner as well as a fee from your own bank. While two dollars may seem like an insignificant amount, added together over a month you are probably spending way more than intended on such fees. If you aren’t accounting for these expenses, you will never have an accurate budget plan.
When looking for a new bank, take the time to consider what aspects of banking mean the most to you, Write down a list of important items and any corresponding questions you may have for the manager. Schedule an appointment if necessary to go over your concerns. Cover everything from ATM fees to the cost of an account, ask questions about direct deposits and any other service you are already used to having and see how it compares to your current bank. Check out the interest rates as well. The banking industry is competing for your business so it is in your best interest to see which bank will best fulfill all of your needs.
If you find a new bank that undeniably beats out your bank for services and fees, do not jump right in. It may be worth your time to approach the manger at your current bank and discuss your concerns, as well as the terms of the competition. They may be willing to work with you and give you comparable service, saving you the hassle of transferring your money and information to a new bank.