5 Checking & Savings Money Hacks

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Rethink Your Deposits

Switch your direct deposit to go into savings instead of your checking.

It’s a mental trick that could help you save more, since seeing the lump sum of money in your savings will force you to figure out how much to allocate for spending.

Also, people can become more motivated to save once they see a bigger number in their savings account.

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Save on ATMs

Everyone has experienced not being able to find their bank’s ATM when they need cash in a pinch.

A solution for this is to make a small purchase at a grocery store or drug store and ask for cash back. Most establishments have a cap on how much you can request, so it wouldn’t work if you needed a large amount, like $200.

Keep in mind that even though you’re making a small purchase to get the cash, you’re still getting something out of it (like a pack of gum), rather than having to fork up fees from your bank and the ATM company.

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Another ATM Option

If you know you’re probably not going to step inside a grocery store or drug store to make a small purchase, as mentioned in the previous slide, this is another option for you to consider.

The following banks offer free checking (no strings attached) and has some great ATM perks.

  • Ally Bank: free ATM use anywhere -- it’s always free!
  • Bank of Internet: completely free!
  • Capital One 360: free ATM use as long as its within the Allpoint network. Otherwise, you will be charged.

One suggestion could be to simply open a new account and use it as your monthly "spend" account to pull out cash. That way you can go to any ATM, without worrying about pesky fees.


Don’t Sign Up for Overdraft Protection

Banks began giving customers the option to sign up for overdraft protection.

If you sign up for this, your bank will allow you to make purchases even if you don’t have enough money in your account. However, you will be charged an overdraft fee, which can be as high as $35.

If you opt not to sign up, your transaction will not go through if you don’t have the funds in your account.

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Direct Deposit Alternative

Many banks will often waive the monthly fees associated with a checking account, as long as you have direct deposit.

While it’s great to have a steady income, many Americans don't have this luxury.

If this is your case, try depositing a small amount of money from your Paypal account to your checking.

Be sure to check your monthly statement to see what your bank labeled the transaction as. If it says “Direct Deposit,” you can use this method and your bank won’t know the difference.

However, if it is categorized as something else, you won’t be able to qualify this as a direct deposit. It's definitely worth a shot, though!

  • Mike

    USAA does not charge an ATM fee if you use out of network ATMs. They also refund any fee the ATM charges you. Otherwise all PNC ATMs are always free to use period.