Banking Mistakes You Definitely Need to Avoid

The fact is that banking is a necessary part of living in our modern society. There are a number of mistakes that you should avoid when dealing with banks. Some of these mistakes are relatively small while others have some fairly big consequences. The smarter you are when dealing with banks, the less likely you will be to find yourself in a nightmare situation at some point. Banks can be a great thing, but only if you know how to make them work for you.

Not Opting for Automatic Bill Payment

Believe it or not, there are still quite a few people who pay their bills manually, and it’s a terrible idea. If you don’t have automatic bill payment set up, you should do so immediately. Paying your bills manually is a good way to forget about not making important payments on time. There is absolutely no point in doing more work than you have to.

Using the Same Bank for Both Accounts

You should always try to keep your checking and savings accounts at different financial institutions. This can help reduce the temptation to overspend, which is something that a lot of people have a very real problem with. Many people end up using their savings account to buy things on a regular basis, but that is not what it is for. When you keep your accounts separate, you will avoid this issue.

Overlooking the Smaller Banks

If you are in the process of looking for a new bank to keep your money at, don’t forget to consider some of the smaller ones in your area. While most people gravitate towards the bigger financial institutions, they are certainly not the only options available. The more time you spend researching your bank options, the better off you will be in the end. Sometimes smaller banks have fewer fees and rules that can help you save money.

Going After the Highest Rate

Some people switch banks frequently because they want to get a better rate for their account, but this can be a huge mistake. The fact is that going to another bank usually isn’t worth it, especially if you are only getting an additional half percent interest. It is better to stay with one bank and build a long term relationship with them. The longer you have had a positive relationship with your bank, the more likely they will be to help you out when you need it.

Not Reading the Fine Print

Another huge mistake to avoid making is not looking over the contract you sign when signing up with a certain bank. There are actually quite a few important things in the fine print that you will want to know about, including any fees you may need to pay in the future. Make sure that you read every word of the contract before giving your signature.

Spending Money to Maintain Your Account

If you are spending any amount of money to maintain a checking account, you are making a big mistake. You should never pay to have a bank account, and there are plenty of places you can go that won’t charge you a monthly or annual fee. This is one of the more common banking mistakes that people make, and we can’t really blame them. These days it seems like you have to pay for a checking account, but the truth is you don’t. If you are currently paying for a checking account, start looking into some of your other options immediately.

Not Regularly Checking Your Transactions

You should always make a point of regularly checking your transactions through your checking account. By doing this you will be able to stay on top of how much you are spending, and you’ll know right away if you are a victim of identity theft. Log into your account through your bank’s website at least once every couple of days to do this. It is very easy to spend too much when we don’t look at our transactions. If you want to avoid this issue, all you have to do is take a look. It will only take a minute or two, and it’s well worth it overall.

Importance of Security

Some of the biggest banking mistakes people make is related to matters of security. Make sure that you have very strong passwords for all of your accounts. This will make it much more difficult for others to access your accounts online. You should also be very careful about who you give out certain information to, including your bank account number and debit PIN. These details can easily be used to steal your identity and rack up tons of unauthorized charges using your account. The more security-conscious you are, the fewer mistakes you are going to make.

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7 Tips for Saving Money on Your Household Bills

With the cost of household bills increasing throughout the UK, it is more important than ever to find ways to save. The fact is that there are all sorts of big and small ways to save yourself money on your regular household bills. If you want to stop struggling to scrape together enough for our bills, it is important that you take a look at this article. These tips will help you stay on track financially and get some extra spending money in your pocket.

1. Drop Your Cable Subscription

With all of the quality content that is available online, there is almost no reason to have a cable subscription these days. Depending on how much you spend on cable, you could end up saving a ton of money if you do this. Chances are you will be able to watch whatever you want online with a little bit of research. There are even quite a few free streaming sites where you can watch just about any movie or television show. A lot of people all over the world are getting rid of their cable for this reason.

2. Lower Your Mobile Phone Bill

There are lots of ways to lower the amount that you pay for your mobile phone service each month. You should first try calling up your provider to do some negotiating. There is a good chance that they will be at least a little flexible when it comes to bringing down your bill a bit. You can also try switching to a cheaper plan, though you will probably have to make some sacrifices. Ask yourself if you are fully utilizing the mobile plan you currently pay for.

3. Reducing Your Utilities

You will quickly find that there are tons of ways that you can shrink your utility bills. You can save money on your gas and electric bills by putting some weather stripping on your home. The less air that escapes from your home, the more energy-efficient it will be. There are probably a number of places around your home that could use some weather stripping.

You can also retrofit your home with new insulation that is more energy efficient, such as spray foam. Those who currently have fibreglass insulation might want to make this switch. The upfront costs are substantial, but so are the long-term savings.
Even doing something as simple as switching to LED light bulbs can make a huge difference when it comes to lowering your household bills. These bulbs use far less energy than traditional ones, and they last a lot longer.

If you want to reduce your water bill, you can start taking more showers and fewer baths. Taking a bath uses a huge amount of water compared to a shower, so keep that in mind.

4. Refinance Your Mortgage

Your mortgage is probably your biggest recurring household expense, and refinancing it can help with cutting costs. This is not an ideal option for everyone, but it can be helpful if you are in a tight financial situation. You could end up paying a much lower interest rate, which will mean huge savings in the long term. Make sure that you do your research before going ahead with this so you don’t have regrets in the near future.

5. Stop Making Late Payments

Almost everyone is late paying certain bills once in a while, but it can be very costly. If you are charged a late fee when you don’t pay your bills on time, it is very important to buckle down. You might just be surprised at how much money you can save by being on time with these payments. If you don’t already have automatic payments set up with your bank, you really need to do this. It can be easy to forget to pay a bill if you are still doing it manually, which is all the more reason to go automatic.

6. Get Rid of Your Landline

If you still have a landline phone in your home, you should think about getting rid of it. As long as you have a cell phone, there is really no need for a landline. It may be nice to have in case of an emergency, but is it really worth the extra expense? It’s definitely something that you should think about.

7. Write it Out

Make sure that you write out all of your recurring expenses so that you can decide which ones you could possibly reduce or eliminate altogether. This can help you save hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year. Everyone should have a household budget anyway, as it can help with keeping one’s finances organized. You will likely find at least a few expenses that can be cut or taken down by quite a bit.

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