Getting the maximum benefit from your accounts

Probably one of the first things we do when it comes to growing up is getting a bank account and then as we enter adulthood other accounts follow.  Some of these expenses are necessary evils, other necessities or luxuries but for whatever reason we have them, they are a part of our daily lives and influences our financial wellbeing.

Have a look at the following few points for your individual accounts and ensure you get the maximum benefit from these accounts:

 

  • Bank account
    Have a look at the various types of accounts the bank offers and find the best suitable to your needs.  Some accounts have a high monthly fee charge, but all of your transactions (swipes and Electronic Fund Transfers) are free. If you prefer using cash instead of swiping your debit card, have a look at a cheaper monthly fee and the costs of the ATM transactions.  It is also cheaper to withdraw cash from the ATM versus the teller inside the bank.For some transactions, it is easier and less expensive to use your banking app on your smartphone or internet banking as opposed to visiting the bank branch.

    Debit orders are convenient to ensure your payments are always made on time.  However, in some instances, it costs more than an EFT transaction.  Various banks offer you the option to schedule your payments in advance, an ideal way to ensure you don’t forget to pay your account on the due date.

    If your bank offers a loyalty programme, ensure you understand all the relevant terms and conditions to benefit from the programme.  Some banks have such strict conditions that it is almost impossible and cannot justify the monthly charge.

 

  • Insurance
    Insurance is seen as a necessary evil and is, unfortunately, the first payment to be cancelled when things get though.  This is the worst possible decision you can ever make; your loss will be so much more when you are in need of this cover.Shop around for insurance and make sure you understand the terms & conditions that accompany your policy.  This will include the regular valuation as well as the use and safe keeping of items. In some instances, it is cheaper to add your car insurance to that of your household insurance.  Ensure that you insured values are correct.  Over- or under-insurance could result in no cover, and you will only know about this once you claim.

    Also, confirm that you clearly understand all the terms & conditions when it comes to your excess payable for a claim.  You might save on your monthly premium for a bigger excess when you claim, so check if this monthly reduction is worth it and if you will be able to cover the excess in the event of a claim.

    Check and adjust, if necessary, your insurance at least every four – six months.

 

  • Cell phone 

    Cell phones have become part of our daily lives, and it is seen more as a necessity as a luxury.  Have a good look at when and how you use your cell phone, make sure that you are on the right package and get the benefit of the best possible rates.  This includes comparing pre-paid to contract, as well as airtime to data usage. To gain the advantages of a contract, but be able to control your account financially, you can get a monthly contract with the option to top-up with pre-paid.The majority of users also have a tablet or laptop that requires a data sim.  You don’t necessarily need a new data contract for this purpose.  You can apply for this additional sim card to be added to your current contract and only pay a minimal monthly fee for this additional sim card. This sim card will use the data on your existing contract.

    Although we all love fancy new handsets, get the best possible handset for your needs and your budget, not for your ego.

 

  • Clothing accounts
    Clothing accounts do require sound financial management or else you can easily find yourself in an enormous amount of debt.  Be sure only to purchase clothing items that are needed and good value for money.  Use your clothing accounts only for clothing, do not buy your monthly groceries or food on credit.Ensure that you understand all the Terms & Conditions of the account and also get the best possible interest available.  Also check for any hidden costs before signing up for this, for example, monthly admin fees or club fees. Some stores offer loyalty programmes, and it is not always free.  Confirm that you will benefit from these or cancel this subscription.

    If you’ve fallen victim to the costs of any accounts, and find yourself in an enormous amount of debt, please give Debt Rescue a call.

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