Featured News 2012 Stay Safe Financially with These Federal Trade Commission Tips!

Stay Safe Financially with These Federal Trade Commission Tips!

Money is hard to balance. Budgets can shift with a new purchase or a new addition to the family. A pay cut can send you reeling and scrambling to figure out where you can make changes in your spending habits. When it comes to banking and credit, things are often abstract, making it harder to save money. You may make quick choices because you don’t want to devote time or thought to figuring out the cheapest ways. But in the end a little effort can pay off in a big way. According to the Federal Trade Commission, you can save over $100 a year in fees if you choose a free checking account or one that has no minimum balance requirement.

When you go to open a credit card account, make sure to ask your bank for a list of the fees that will be charged. By briefing yourself beforehand, you will be able to avoid making the wrong choice on a credit account and paying out hundreds in unneeded costs. You should also seek free or lower cost checking by using direct deposit. You have the option to agree to ATM only use. Sometimes cards with ATM only blocks on them are cheaper, and it will be easier to budget if you only use withdrawn cash. Another credit card tip to keep in mind- if you want to withdraw money, use your own bank ATM. ATMs that are not related to your bank will probably charge a processing fee. While these fees are normally only a few dollars, they can add up really fast.

Every wise financial steward has a savings account. When you set up yours, look for accounts that are insured by the federal government. If you choose to avoid an insured account, you will probably need to look for a mutual fund or an annuity. Look at banks outside of your city for the savings account with the cheapest rates and costs. Sometimes placing your account a few miles out of town may save you hundreds in the long run. If you want the highest return on your savings, then the best thing to do is to purchase a certificate of deposit or a savings bond. Think about these options if you want to have money for the future all saved up and ready to go.

It may also be a good idea to practice sending your credit card payments in early. If the bill is due in a week, why not send the money now? This will allow you to make sure you don’t get behind. A lot of people stumble and fail to pay their credit card bill on time once. The next thing they know, they are buried under debt from failing to pay the balance. Late payments on one card can also affect the balances and fees on other cards from the same bank. You can avoid interest rate charges if you pay off the balance on your card every month.

This can save magnanimous amounts of money, and help you to stay out of debt. If you can’t pay your entire balance, it’s worth it to at least try and pay as much of the balance as you can. Too many people take their credit card balance lightly and end up in a difficult situation later on. If you still have some of your balance left to pay at the end of the month, try to shift it to a lower APR. You can find listings for different credit card plans in many newspapers, finance magazines, or on the Internet. If you are able to practice these money-wise tips, you may be able to pull out of a tough financial situation and avoid the threat of bankruptcy.

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