Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Don't Let Bank Fool You Into Automatic Savings Plan

I can't speak to anyone at my bank anymore without them trying to sell me on a so-called automatic savings plan in which $1 will be taken from my checking account and added to my savings account every time I use their bank debit card.

Do they take me for a fool? Obviously, they do.

They act as though this is a savings plan, but all it does it take money from one account and put it into another. The problem for you -- and bonus for the financial institution -- is that they are banking on you forgetting to keep up with all these transactions. Next thing you know, you've gone below your minimum deposit in your checking account and the bank charges you a fee for it.

I've always had a love-hate relationship with banks. On the "love" side, I don't want to stuff my savings in my mattress, so I have to keep my money somewhere safe. On the "hate" side, I see a lot of their tactics as nothing more than legalized thievery. And this is one of those tactics.

If you want to take some of the money from your checking account and put it into savings, just do it yourself and make the subtraction in your checkbook register. You're smart enough to do things like a grown-up -- and you're smart enough not to be robbed by your own bank.