Take This to the Bank

Jim's_Bank

I stole this picture just like the banks, credit card companies, and identity thieves will steal your money if you’re not careful. [photo credit: http://familyguy.wikia.com/wiki/Jim’s_Bank%5D

Do you love your bank? 

“What kind of weirdo asks that type of question?” you think. “Love my bank? I don’t even have a bank. I stuff my money under my pillow before I take my girlfriend out to the dollar menu and spend it all.”

Yes, indeed, big spenders.

In order to have money you have to know where it is. This means you need a financial institution and all the cards and statements that go with it.

“Miss, can you look at this, my bank keeps charging me fees.” The student was really upset, as I would be if a bank took all the money I’d planned to use for dates at the dollar menu. I told him to bring in his statements and ATM slips. Turns out, he went for gas on Friday, spent some money. The money didn’t come out immediately, so he checked his ATM balance the next day, and saw there was money in there. He didn’t put any more money in there, which would have been my first red flag, but he said, “It was there, Miss!”

“Sometimes it takes a couple days to show up.” We’re so used to everything being instant we don’t realize there are sometimes time delays. So, he was spending the same money more than once. The bank frowns on this. They’ll cover for you like a loanshark, he discovered, but slap you around with some $25 fees to remind you to be responsible with your cash.

You should know where your money is and what’s going on with it at all times.

Critical questions to ask yourself:

Do I have a financial institution I love?

What’s the difference between a bank and a credit union?

What’s the difference between a credit and a debit card? A checking and savings account? A CD and a CD-ROM?  Which of these things do I need to survive in the real world?

How do I tie together the stuff I’ve learned about financial literacy–debt, savings, planning–together with the best financial institution in the world–to get the ball rolling?

Am I “old school” or “tech” when it comes to banking? (Ye Old Paper Check and Ledger vs. Online Banking and the Digital Financial World)

What’s my liability when someone in some country I can’t spell steals my identity? How do I fix that?

Let’s take a look at all the financial institution stuff you never ever cared about, but if you have two bucks in your pocket and want three or four instead of zero, you’d better start to care about, now…

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