Finding the Right Bank Account.

My goal through Money-Smart Millennials is to make you an expert at managing your money . This includes budgeting, managing your income and expenses, being more aware of your cash flow and organizing your debt to pay it off. Other components of money management are investments and savings. You need to think about interest, and you might even have long term goals like saving for a mortgage or repairing your credit score. Most people have debt, in fact, the average American has around $38000 of debt, not including mortgages, which eats into their income and makes saving tough. There’s an awful lot to worry about, and from my experience working in the banking system, many feel stressed out about money and fear they have no control over their finances.

Although it may seem very common and obvious, there is education about bank accounts that needs to happen. Many of us still have the first bank account we ever set up. It is often upgraded from the children’s or student accounts that were set up for us before we were old enough to make the decision. We stick with them because it’s easy. If that’s you, it’s probably not the right account for your current situation as an adult or millennial. Is your bank account working for you? Helping you to save and improve your personal finances? Does it give you options and security? Or, is it making your personal banking much harder and more expensive than it needs to be? Let’s look at how to find the right bank account.

What Do You Need from Your Bank?

If your credit score is bad, you might be limited to certain accounts. These might charge a monthly fee, and limit how much you can spend and pay in each month. But, if your credit score is good, you have a lot more options. Some accounts might still require monthly fees, so make sure that you can stick to these. Others might have maximum withdrawals. Some offer great CD rates, while others offer extra perks like free insurance or special offers on interest.

Think about what you need from your account. Are you looking to pay off debt and take more control of your money? Or are you looking to save? When searching for accounts, consider how they meet your needs.

What Are the Fees?

Bank fees can be crippling. Especially if your account is frequently overdrawn, make sure you read the terms and conditions of each account carefully, paying attention to daily and monthly overdraft fees, and the fees for entering an unplanned overdraft. Some banks charge a monthly fee, as well as daily interest, whereas others just have a fee. If you are in debt or struggle to stay above zero, this should be your primary consideration.

How About Interest?

If you’ve got a little set-aside, or you are aiming to start saving in the near future, look at the other accounts that your bank has to offer. You can always open a savings account with another bank, but it’s usually easier to stick to the same provider, and simply open a new savings account.

Does it Have a Good App?

Most millennials do their banking online. So, your bank app is essential. You want an app that lets you easily see your statements and make transactions. Today, with increased risk of hacking, an app that offer the fingerprint security for logins is important. At least, it improves the security of your funds when your phone is lost or hacked into.

I hope these simple tips help in choosing a bank account that lines up with your goals and your usage. Don’t simply open an account with the bank around the corner. Be intentional about your banking.

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