One of the biggest things stopping us dealing efficiently with our money is apathy. I’ve lost count of the number of letters and emails I’ve seen over the years complaining about the low interest rates paid by some bank and building society accounts. At the same time I’m amazed by the number of people who keep significant amounts of cash lying in accounts that pay little or no interest. And to compound it they haven’t used their tax-free ISA limit for the year while the paltry interest they receive from their bank account is likely to suffer income tax at their highest rate.
Likewise some people have had their current account with the same bank for 20 or 30 years – in fact there’s an old adage that they are more likely to change their partner than their bank account – but still they moan about overdraft charges and poor service and branches that aren’t open when they should be.
We need to take more interest in the way we deal with our money. We need to get involved. And that needs to start with us all taking a good look at what we do with our money on a day-to-day basis. For most of us that means looking at how we use our bank. So go and get your bank statement. Check the amount of interest that you are getting on your savings account, or your current account for that matter, and check what charges apply if you dip into the red at the end of the month.
Do you pay a monthly fee for your current account? If you do what do you get for it? If you don’t would you benefit from the things that you do get? I love the fact that the monthly fee I pay for my current account means that I always have travel insurance. That’s worth paying for, in my opinion. Do the same exercise for yourself.
And if your account is not doing what it should be do something about it. There are hundreds of accounts out there. Move it! And don’t carry on blaming the banks when you’re doing nothing to help yourself.