It’s important for consumers to examine and understand what your bank or credit cards are charging you. They may be adding to your debt in various ways. While you may not notice on a daily basis, banks and credit cards are constantly finding ways to charge extra. The interesting thing is that the amounts may not seem large initially; however, over time they can really add up. In order to save money it is important to know how much you may be spending without even realizing it. If you’re not observant, before you know it your credit card debt becomes so great that you end of having to engage in debt settlement to help resolve the problem.
There are many banks that have free checking accounts (usually with minimum account balance requirements), so there would be no annual fee. While you are looking into that, find out about any other hidden fees which may be coming your way. After doing some research comparing banks, you may realize you could be saving money just by switching banks. The goal is to be mindful of where you are spending your money.
In fact, some banks may help you save. For example, certain banks have a program in which when you use your debit card on a purchase, they take one dollar and put it into a savings account (there are several variations on this idea). If you continue this for a period of time, you are saving and you won’t have to change your lifestyle. This program is not necessarily going to help you save money quickly. But you are not going to notice a dollar difference in your purchase either. This may be a great solution for someone starting a savings account.
In addition, when looking at your credit cards, find out what the interest rates are and if you are going to be charged an annual fee. If you are trying to pay off your credit cards, start with the credit card with the highest interest rate; thus ultimately saving you money.
Always make sure to read the fine print and any asterisks that may appear next to statements, particularly references to 0% APR (Annual Percentage Rate). Typically, the 0% rate is only for a limited time and then a new rate that takes over. In any case, make sure the interest rate is something with which you are comfortable before accepting any credit card. Paying your bill on time will usually keep your interest rate lower. If you start missing payments the interest rate may increase and then you are paying even more money to your credit card, which will also prolong the time before the car is paid off.
These changes can be very helpful in saving you money you didn’t realize you were spending. The other benefit is that while you are saving this money, you don’t have to change your lifestyle. It is important to realize that being aware of your available funds and where they are going is vital to helping you save money in the long run.