This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Green Dot. All opinions are 100% mine.
A Millennial Mom’s Guide to Bank Accounts – 10 Tips I was reading an article recently and was shocked to learn that 45% of Americans pay overdraft or other fees on a monthly basis to their bank (according to the American Banking Association). This really blew me away, because with a few simple changes many of you could save hundreds or maybe even thousands per year on bank fees.
Banking needs are changing with moms who are more tech savvy. Choosing the right bank account can save you time, money and your sanity.
Here are my top 10 tips for millennial moms to consider when choosing a bank account:
- No Monthly Fee. If you are paying a monthly fee to your bank, you need to shop around. Most all banks and credit unions now have free checking. Most “free checking” accounts have requirements (required balance, direct deposit, limits on monthly transactions, etc), so make sure you understand the fine print and you have the right match with your usage.
- Online and Mobile App Access. For busy moms who are on the go, a mobile app can be your best friend. Have you ever taken 4 kids to the bank?? It’s a nightmare! The ability to check your balances and transactions on your phone or computer is a must have.
- Online Bill Pay. This is a service that allows you to pay your bills right from your bank login. If you have recurring expenses or you simply want to get something paid immediately, you will love this service. I pay our monthly utilities through this service. I’ve also used it right on my smartphone to pay someone because I didn’t have my checkbook handy. Many banks offer this service free of charge. It will make your life easier!
- Mobile Deposit. I know this is listed as #4, but this is my new #1 favorite feature in mobile banking! I simply access my Mobile Banking App, snap a photo of the check I want to deposit (don’t worry, the app will walk you through it), and I’m done. I rarely go to an actual bank anymore, and as a mom on the go with 4 kids this is a life-saver.
- Account to Account Cash Transfers. In today’s ever increasing “cashless” society, this is a very handy feature. Have you ever owed a friend and weren’t carrying the cash needed? There are many apps and services that have popped up to facilitate cash transfers between friends and family. Look for a bank account that provides this service, it can be your one-stop-shop for everything money related.
- Free Debit Card Usage. You’re seeing a trend now…it’s all about convenience & speed at a low cost. Believe it or not, some people are still paying for the opportunity to use a debit card? In today’s world you need to be able to shop online or at the store with a debit card, so definitely inquire whether or not free debit card usage is part of the services offered.
- Cash Back on Eligible Purchases. Along those same lines, many banks actually offer cash back debit cards. This is next-level debit card services! You will receive cash back on eligible purchases. Many banks partner with certain vendors where you can get cash back for shopping directly with them. Some banks just offer a flat % cash back on eligible purchases. Industry average is 1%-3% so search for a debit card that actually gets you paid to use it!
- FDIC Insured. This feature isn’t the flashiest, but it’s important. You want to make sure you find a bank that is FDIC insured. This protects you in the event your bank goes belly up. This may seem unlikely to happen, but in the banking economic crisis in 2008 this happened to many banks. Make sure you understand the FDIC limits of your bank and keep an eye on how much you have deposited in that bank.
- Other Fees. You’d be surprised at how creative banks can get with their fees. You will want to ask them for their fee schedule so you can understand if the account is right for you. There is no bank account that has absolutely no fees, so make sure and read the fine print and also understand how your personal finances typically work – paycheck to paycheck, paid on commission, large savings, paid weekly, monthly or quarterly – these can all help you decide which type of account will work best for you. Some fees you will see out there are overdraft fees, ATM fees, account minimum fees, account analysis fees, early account closure fee, annual maintenance fee, returned deposit fee, foreign transaction fee, lost debit card fee, paper statement fee, etc.
- Locations Nationwide. I know most of my tips have been on how to save time and not go to a branch, but you may want to consider regional vs local vs national banks. This is especially important if you travel a lot. If you ever need to go into a location, this could be an important factor.
One bank and debit card that we have really been enjoying is Green Dot. We use the Green Dot Cash Back Visa Debit Card. This gives us 5% CASH BACK on eligible purchases!1 This is an amazing rate! Here are some other things I love about Green Dot:
- No Overdraft Fees, Ever. Green Dot stands behind it’s simple, transparent fee structure and is proud to offer our cardholders no overdraft charges, no penalty fees and no minimum balance requirements. Fees and limits apply.
- Convenient: Green Dot is an incredibly easy bank account to get and use. Use the award winning mobile app to manage your money, pay all your bills, deposit checks and send money to friends and family. Send/transfer money anywhere in the US, from your card to another Green Dot Bank-issued card.
- ASAP Direct Deposit – Get paid up to 2 days earlier with ASAP Direct Deposit and receive government benefits up to 4 days before benefits day. With Direct Deposit from Green Dot, you can access your paycheck up to two days early, for free. Subject to your payroll provider’s process and timing. Visit www.greendot.com/our-products/visa-rewards-card
1 Up to $100 annually.
2 Limits apply.
Find other ideas of ways to simplify running your home! Have your house work for you while you’re away!
Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and reality optimist. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, and I hope while you’re here you’ll find something that makes your #momlife easier!