Ask any successful traveler about the importance of sound money habits, continued financial education, and all around discipline. If you or someone you know manages to see the world’s best locales, it’s because these principles have been assimilated into daily life. People lax in this area can’t seem to stay on the road long enough to check more than an item or two off their bucket lists. So congrats to you, if indeed you have learned the way of the sensible financier. One blind spot that tends to endure for globehoppers is the issue of the bank back home. For many of us, our banks have gotten a little too comfortable pocketing frequent fees with little or no provocation, while providing us with less than adequate service. I’m here to tell you that if this sounds like your situation, it’s time for changing banks.
“But how do I know if I need a new bank?” you ask dimly. If you even have to ask, chances are you are much less than thrilled with your current bank. Here are some common problems. After the financial crisis of the previous decade, banks started cutting costs and generating novel ways to penalize their customers for breathing. This doesn’t apply to every bank (and the banks it does apply to shall remain nameless) but basically, if you wanted to have a debit card, use a checking account, or overdraft your account causeyoureonlyhumanforgoodnesssakes, you will have found your accounts summarily charged. These charges can easily total more than $100 per anum. This may not sound like a lot, but you know the power of money, how it can grow, what it can buy you. You know you can do better.
Not only does you bad bank actively shrink your wealth, it also keeps it from growing. Did you know that you can secure a savings account at 3% interest? That’s not insignificant growth for money that usually just sits around doing nothing. Did you further know that the best mobile apps available today make your personalized savings plan automatic? Money will literally be put safely away before you even have a chance to spend it on something you’ll later regret. These are wonderful parts of modern life! And if your current bank doesn’t make them happen for you, they are keeping you from real, steady earnings.
When it comes to banking, sometimes location is the most important factor. This is especially true for those given to international jollification. When you are blazing a new trail in Bangkok, don’t you want to be able to have access to your money? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to talk to a helpful representative, even when you are in an unfamiliar timezone? Your bank from back home may not offer brick and mortar branches outside of your nation of origin. Even if this is not a concern, the frequency of overseas financial emergencies and the threat of identity theft mean that you need a human ally, available by phone or chat, to help you resolve problems fast. If your bank fails in this regard, move your banking life to a bank that will be there when you need.
There are many other issues that a new bank might resolve. If you take a quiet moment to reflect upon your current situation, some of these may dawn upon you. If you are already convinced that your bank is not ideal, don’t let the problem linger. Changing banks is inconvenient, but the results are wonderful.