A couple weeks ago @rtrowe posted a couple banking tips on twitter. It was well received so I invited him to do a guest post on my blog. A couple weeks and few animal sacrifices later he finally sent me the article. ( I figured he couldn’t deal with me constantly annoying him anymore).
Updates to this article will come with or without questions. I hope this helps you to save some money. Also, please share with your friends so they can start saving money too.
Randy’s 4 Steps to Breaking the Bank by Randy Rowe
So recently it occurred to me that the level of bank charges that I’ve been paying to my bank are much too high. In an effort to curb this I’ve decided to cut down on the quickest area I can, card fees. Fees associated with the day-to-day use of my card (for those of us not inclined to notice the obvious). Now in an attempt to dilute my bad karma with some good, I’ll be sharing the method I found with you.
Please note, it takes the form of steps, mostly because steps are easy to follow and allow me to get this damned post done as soon as possible.
So without further ado (which is a sentence whose sole purpose is to add “further ado”) here are Randy’s 4 Steps to Breaking the Bank:
Open a First Global Bank savings account.
Don’t bother to tell me that you love your current bank (unless it’s FGB) or that they’ve been good to you over the years (it’s quite unlikely that they have) or that you “cyaah bodda” (If this last one is you, don’t even ‘bodda ‘ to read the next steps, just close the page and go watch some TV). Always bear this in mind, unless you can bring in over 1 billion $ per month, NO BANK LOVES YOU..and even then this “love” would be questionable (think D’Angel).
Now, there are multiple benefits to opening a FGB savings account, but for purposes of this list, I’ll tell you the primary one…Global Access. No, its not a world visa, it’s their online web banking portal, they have, in my opinion, the most advanced web banking portal in Jamaica (that you have access to…I’m pretty sure the folks at BOJ have an even more powerful system). Using their system you can pay pretty much any bill, and transfer to any commercial bank. I’ll delve into this later, but for now, just take it that you should get an account there and sign up for net banking. (it’s 2012, not banking online is almost obscene)
Open a VMBS savings account.
At this point you’re probably gonna come with the typical excuse..”I don’t like having my money all over the place”…true..this is probably why you give it all to <insert your bank name here> each month in charges. Save the excuses, open the account, you’ll thank me later.Now, you’re probably wondering what the benefits to a VMBS current account are..I’ll tell you..simply put, they offer the BEST saving account option in Jamaica, right now (in my opinion of course, and for people who aren’t pulling down MAJOR bucks….I’m willing to bet you’re not, or you wouldn’t be reading this..). What do I use to back this claim up? Simply put, VMBS saving accounts have NO CARD CHARGES. That’s right, no withdrawal charge ($30 – NCB, $33 – Scotia), no Point of Sale (POS) charge (that’s point-of-sale…other banks have lots of charges which match the other meaning of POS) ($12.10 – NCB, $15 –Scotia), No card charges at all.
Send your monthly salary to FGB.
I’m assuming that you have a steady, company paid, income here, and the ability to dictate where your pay goes. If you’re not one of the fortunate ones, look into setting up a standing order to FGB, yes there is a charge, but if you play it right, it can be one of your 2 only charges for the month. If you’re self-employed or get paid from multiple sources, find the best way to get your money over to FGB, link me on Twitter for help/tips along those lines. (@rtrowe)
Once you’ve gotten your money over to FGB start doing your banking the way it should be done…from your couch/toilet/backyard/phone/kitchen/AnywhereButInABank. I assume here that you’re an adult and have an actual budget. Well FGB helps greatly with budgeting thanks to the ability to send $ to different accounts in JA. What you want to send to VMBS is the portion of $ that you have allocated yourself to spend each month. All those trips to the ATM, all those purchases done at the cash register (for which you’d have gotten charged) add up over time, and add up well enough to make NCB and Scotia 2 of the most PROFITABLE companies in JA…without them selling any tangible product. So this is your chance to cut costs, which is 1 of the only 2 ways to keep money in your pocket (savvy financial types will try to quarrel with me on that “only 2” point. Bring IT!!!).
You can save an estimated $100k+ per year by avoiding bank charges (depending on your income that is. A better estimate is that you can save about 1 or more month’s pay by avoiding charges…now who wouldn’t want an extra month’s pay?). That’s a lot of money that can be invested to make even MORE money (by the way, Investing is the only other way to keep money in your pocket..I’m still ready to rumble financial goons -_-). Now, I know a few of you just read that and said to yourself “Did Randy just call 100k a ‘lot’ of money?”. Yes, yes I did. See in my short life I’ve learned that no one who truly has money ever calls any amount of money over $500 a “little bit of money”…unless they’re trying to sell you something….So yes, $100k IS a lot of money, so is $50k, so is $20k…(if you don’t believe so, try lending it to a stranger, or giving it away…or worse…losing it). There are many way to ‘PROFIT!!!!’, all fall under the category of ‘Investing’. This is a category that I’ll go into at another time. Its multi-faceted and WILL benefit you in the long run, lots to be gained there, literally, so look out for it.
So lets recap, or for those of us who just skipped to the end, summarize.
Randy’s 4 Steps to Breaking the Bank
Open a FGB savings account. (They have Global Access allowing you to send to every commercial bank in JA)
Open a VMBS current account. (They have the wonderful advantage of NO CARD FEES)
Send your monthly salary to FGB. (So you can access the wonderful benefits of banking like the rich do…even on a Saturday)
PROFIT!!!! (Because the 2nd best thing to do with your money is to use it to make more money…the 1st is spend it of course[Strippers and beer 😀 ] ).
That’s it for my tips, feel free to leave a comment telling me if you agree, disagree, like the article, hate the article, think I should write more, think I should be banned from keyboards forever, whatever.
Depending on the response I may write a few more, I’m thinking topics like Managing Credit Card Debt, or General Debt Consolidation or just Investing, as mentioned before. All from the point of view of the small earner, the normal man with a normal paycheque.
Give me a shout on Twitter if you want my opinion of something (anything) at @rtrowe.
Hope you enjoyed…and even more so, I hope you followed and saved money. If you did, let me know and buy me a drink with some of your extra $