1492070778561 - How to save money: Your bank

How to save money: Your bank

You probably do not give a lot of thought to your banking.

Your pay goes into your bank account, you might use internet banking or the bank’s mobile app to pay a few bills, and you probably have a credit card or two.

But if you put aside a few minutes to give your banking set-up a health check, you could be surprised at the money you might save.

Are you using the right type of account?

READ MORE: Using savings accounts for everyday banking is an expensive error

One of the simplest and most expensive mistakes you can make is to use a savings account for everyday transactions.

Sometimes people fall into this trap when they have had a fees-free student savings account and forget to change it when they enter the workforce.

Savings accounts generally charge a significant fee for each transaction, whereas everyday transaction accounts can be fees-free if you agree not to receive paper statements.

Research firm Canstar found on-call savings accounts were charging an average $2.59 per point-of-sale transaction. 

Even transferring your money around via internet or mobile banking costs money with a savings account, but should not with an everyday account.

Are your bill payments set up for payday?

Default and dishonour payments charged when an AP or bill payment bounces can be expensive, especially if they put you into overdraft and you are stung with a fee for that, too.

Avoid it entirely by making sure that all your bill payments, direct debits and automatic payments are set up to go on your pay day or just after, so you can be sure there will be enough money to cover them.

Are you using the right credit card?

If you do not pay your credit card balance off in full each month, consider shifting to a low-rate card. There are a number of low-interest credit cards in the market. They often have higher annual fees in return for a lower interest charge.

Better yet, make the most of a zero-interest balance transfer offer and commit to paying off everything you owe.

Even if you do pay your balance off each month, it is worth shopping around to see whether your annual fee is value for money.

Usually it is the cards with more generous rewards schemes that have the highest fees, so if you do not make use of those points, it might be worth reconsidering your options.

Don’t just set and forget

Keep an eye on your bank accounts, even when everything is automated. Check the transactions going out are right and there are no double-ups. Make sure you are not in danger of slipping into unarranged overdraft – this can be expensive.

* This is the first in a four-part series looking at simple ways to save cash.

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