I didn’t plan writing about this. But I kept thinking about how things could’ve turned out differently had I been a little more patient and circumspect. Putting my musings on paper may finally get it off my mind.
I have always hated banking. I’m not sure if the hatred was born out of countless unhappy trips to crowded banking halls as a teenage girl doing my dad’s cash deposits, or due to the terrible experience I had when I opened my first bank account. Come to think of it, it doesn’t really matter where my aversion to banking came from, does it? What matters is that I still hate it.
Unfortunately, banking for me is now a necessity and so all I can do is to try as much as possible to limit my trips to the bank. That’s why I am particularly thankful for ATM cards and the many banking services available today. When I want my money, I take it. No queues. No long things.
Related: Benefits of having an ATM card
Now about that experience I’ve been trying to get off my mind. A couple of months ago, I thought of opening one more bank account. I intended for it to serve as some form of rainy day fund. You know, an account where I could stash money for when I really needed it.
Being the confessed hater-of-banks that I am, I wanted to keep the whole process simple and stress-free as possible so I chose the closest bank I could find. On the appointed day I decided to pass by the bank in the morning before going to work. I didn’t like the idea of taking a break from work to visit the bank; that’ll be too tedious. I remember I was in so much of a hurry when I arrived at the bank. I just wanted to open a savings account and do a disappearing act (LOL). But then these ‘bank people’ started confusing me with all their banking terms and complicated calculations. Next thing I knew, I had shifted plans to something else.
I vaguely remember the personnel saying something like “…you can’t withdraw pass…” I lost the rest of the words. And frankly, that bit I missed about the withdrawal limit didn’t seem much of a big deal until I was broke and needed my money. ALL of it. You can imagine the look on my face when I learned I couldn’t get it all.
This can be pretty frustrating, especially when you’re down like that.
I am no banking or finance expert but based on my experience and the hard lesson I learned, I will advise anyone looking to open a savings account or any type of account to go through the following checklist before doing so.
Before you make any savings account decisions, you should:
- Think through it carefully. Make sure it’s what you really want/planned to do.
- Check to see what other banks are offering. Everyone wants a better deal so it won’t hurt to snoop around a little.
- Ask questions as to which savings account plans are available to you, and which is the best for you to open per your need.
- For your convenience and peace of mind sake, you might want to check if the bank you’re saving with has certain savings account features like access via smart phones, sms alerts, email notifications, mobile transfers, or if the bank has convenient ATM locations.
- Also check to see if there are any savings account fees; such as maintenance fees or transaction fees and the minimum balances required.
- Be sure to find out and gather all information first, before going ahead to commit to anything because things can get a little tricky these days. You don’t want to be caught off guard.
As for me, I have made it a point never to rush through making any financial decisions (as should be!) again. Now the bank has got my pittance for keeps, and I am pissed. I think I am going to be pissed for a while longer.
See also: How to use ATM card to withdraw cash