Making Cents: Does Your Account Still Fit Your Needs?

Writer  /  Kate Rhoten

Change, it is inevitable. Either we are the change agent or something else is making us change. There are events or things we need to do that we put on the calendar or tie to other activities. I am sure most of us with school-age children have spring break on our calendars (especially after last winter). How many of you change your batteries in your smoke detectors when you change your clocks for daylight savings time?

What about reviewing your bank accounts? I am not referring to whether or not your account balanced; I do hope you are reconciling monthly through a method that works for you. My question is about the type of account and services you are receiving. I bring this up for two reasons. One, you don’t want to be surprised when there is an account fee that you could have prevented. Two, you most certainly don’t want to pay for services you are not using or miss out on services that you could qualify for with a different account.

Now is as good a time as any to review the type of account and benefits you are receiving while you are preparing for your tax return. These are both financial activities, and it makes sense to review them around the same time.

I was prompted after 10 plus years with the same accounts to review what my options were due to a message that was at the top of the monthly statement. The message was to inform customers that the relationship threshold was being raised for this particular account. This change was a significant increase, but loans were included in the mix.

This account was no longer a good fit for me. I contacted the bank and spoke with the manager. I was able to change the type of checking account without any difficulty. I didn’t have to go in and did not have to change the account number. It is important to stay on top changes that may affect you. The savings account did not have to be changed, as it would continue to meet the savings balance requirement.

Some banks will notify by a message in your online message box. Others will call you to request to review your accounts while some may place a notice on your monthly statement. Regardless of how a bank notifies you of changes, it is important to be proactive for your own benefit. Being proactive can save as much $25 in an unexpected service fee. This certainly can add up over time.

As you gather your necessary documents for tax season, take a moment to review your bank accounts. Verify there are not any notifications on statements or in your online banking message box.

Please take the extra step to review the account types that are being offered by your bank online. Doing so may save you little cash for a little fun or apply it toward something else.

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