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Assuming that your financial institution isn't crucial or that all banks are created equal is a huge oversight, and one that could cost you time and, more importantly, money.
If you're thinking of switching banks, you probably have plenty of good reasons, far beyond an angry bank teller, poor customer service or hard feelings about that bogus and now broken toaster you received when you opened that checking account.
These issues you're having aren't about hurt feelings or a lack of smiles when you arrive at the bank, but rather the notion that you're losing money thanks to a place that is supposed to help you save it.
Easily the largest and most discernible and disheartening red flag when it comes to banks and how it pertains to you losing money in the form of two easily fixable fees: overdraft fees and having to hold a minimum balance on your checking or savings accounts.
Overdraft fees can range from $25 to $50 every time you withdraw more money than you have on hand. It's hard not to blame yourself for not managing your money a little closer, but even a few overdraft fees could cost you hundreds each year.
If your bank doesn't have some sort of free overdraft protection plan in place for you, then it's time to say so long. Most banks on the cusp of competent customer service make it a point to tell customers how to avoid overdraft fees. Only the archaic institutions still try to sneak those fees past you.
The same can be said for the minimum balance needed to maintain accounts. The idea that you get charged if you have less than a certain amount is ludicrous, and there are plenty of banks interested in getting your business that won't set those parameters on you. What most banks do in lieu of a minimum balance is set certain rules that pertain to a particular account, such as telling you there are no fees as long as you set up direct deposit, as an example.
That's certainly not asking too much.
Nor is it too much to ask if your bank doesn't allow you to enjoy online banking minus all the ridiculous rules, such as putting a number of limits on how many transfers you can complete within a 30 day period. It's your money, so moving it around between accounts shouldn't be held against you.
If it is, then your bank needs to know that you're not happy and aren't afraid to shop around for a better option.
Large scale retailers like Target, Best Buy and even Walmart know how it feels to be price shopped.
That tactic hardly is anything new but certainly seems much more prevalent in recent years as the consumer isn't content with the first sticker price they see.
This is especially true when it comes to electronics and other technological gadgets, from televisions to computers and everything large and small in between.
Those aforementioned stores would argue that the idea of using their stores as a glorified showroom with no intention to purchase directly from the physical store isn't quite what you'd call fair. The savvier customers might, for example, have their eye on a new 50 inch, flat screen TV. They're able to find that same television on Amazon.com for a few hundred dollars less than what Best Buy is currently offering. So, the process from there is quite simple: check out the TV in person and then buy it cheaper online.
You can call that cunning, unfair, unjust or flat out wrong, but customers would beg to differ and offer up their own pertinent description of today's shopping scene: smart.
Saving money isn't about preserving the feelings of million and billion dollar companies but rather putting extra cash in your pocket, especially when it comes to big ticket items like tablets or cell and any other large scale electronics.
Companies like Best Buy, Sears and Target are struggling to compete with the likes of Amazon, eBay and other online retailers that make it a point challenge those retail heavyweights and hit them where it hurts most: their bottom lines.
The days of determining exactly what you want and then blindly paying the asking price are over. Today's consumer deals directly in finding a bottom line cost associated with what they buy, while still putting a premium on quality and durability.
If an online company or retailer fits and fills all the criteria that a customer wants, why wouldn't you buy safely, securely and comfortably from them if you can save money in the process?
If in the course of a calendar year, you save $200 on a television, another $100 on a PC and a few bucks here and there on accessories like headphones, keyboards or monitors, which could easily translate into an extra $1,000 within that 12 month period.
That money should be in your wallet, pocket or savings account, rather than a small part of the year end revenue sheet touted by big time retailers. This isn't to suggest that those organizations aren't adept and competent at what they do, but rather their ignorance and lack of understanding that often the lowest price trumps all.