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Thanks to bank deregulation banking has become very competitive. Whether you're paying or receiving interest it's important to shop around. You will likely find wildly different interest rates and bank charges. When you find something better than what your current bank is offering, jump on it. Don't stick with the bank just because you've been with it for "forever" if it isn't competitive.
Overdrawing your account
One of the ways that banks are trying to increase their revenues is by making you pay a big penalty for a small error. As an example of this, let's suppose you have $300 in your checking account and you write three checks. You write the first one for $20, the second for $30 and the third for $290. Did you know that some banks process checks in order of size and not in order received? In this case, that $290 check might be processed first so that all three checks would end up bouncing. You would then be hit with three overdraft charges that could add up to as much as $105. This is because some banks are actually charging, believe it or not, $35 for each check you overdraw.
Not managing cash flow with the help of your computer
You should definitely let your computer takeover every aspect of your personal finances including your investments. Software products such as Quicken® and Money® are now much easier to use than they were just a few years ago and they can help you gain the greatest advantage in your personal finances. These programs will produce reports at the touch of a button that can show you exactly where you stand financially and what you need to do to maximize things. There is also a wealth of apps available for both iPhones and android phones that make it much simpler for you to manage your money. The most popular of these is probably Mint.com, which will track your spending and help with your budgeting as well as monitoring your investments and credit cards. If it finds a better product than what you're currently using it will even alert you by email.
Staying with the wrong bank
Have you noticed the "merger mania" that’s been going on in the world of banking? This is why you could wake up one day and find that the bank with which you’ve been doing business for so many years is no longer around as it has been merged into a strange new bank that now holds your accounts. It's likely that this new bank will be one of the new megabanks, which brings up the question of will it treat you better? The answer to this is forget about it. Many of these megabanks are just raising inefficiency to a new level as well as dumbing down their customer service. The good news is that you can solve this problem very easily. Just look for the smallest bank in your neighborhood that’s FDIC insured and move your business to it. You'll get more personal attention from a small bank then you ever will at one of those megabanks and you'll have exactly the same insurance protection. Plus, there's just something nice about being able to walk into your bank and be recognized, not just as another 10-digit number but as an actual, real live person.