In a previous post, we discussed staying out of debt and maximizing your savings by staying aware of the terms, fees, and features your bank offers and, most importantly, moving to a new one if you discover terms that suit you better. This time, we’re going to share a few more resources to help you locate those deals in your region and compare what’s available. Your bank is immensely important in your financial world, and a little part of it goes with you everywhere in the form of your debit card, so it’s worth getting the most out of it. Even if there weren’t many other options when you first started banking, there probably are now — and lots of people are hunting for the best ones.
There’s a name for this phenomenon: “Move Your Money.” Though it started among a widely dispersed group of taxpayers dissatisfied with big banks and bailouts, it has since generated a number of useful, grass-roots sources for getting and comparing information about practical banking matters. As with any “crowdsourced” movement, be sure to corroborate your data with official sources, and don’t be afraid to check several outlets before making a decision. Information is power: use it wisely and your budget will thank you!
The original home of the movement is the website MoveYourMoney. The top contributors here are opposed to the bank bailouts and make no secret of their desire to inform consumers about alternatives to big banks using taxpayer funds. They offer a variety of ways to search for smaller, community-oriented banks and credit unions by area. There’s also a network of supporters you can contact to get more information, and a helpful FAQ to give you context on why “moving your money” makes a difference in the bigger financial picture. With the latest news on Goldman Sachs just starting to make waves, don’t expect this to quiet down any time soon.
Not finding exactly what you want in your local area? All is not lost. Bargaineering has an article on Top Online Banks offering thorough comparisons of interest rates and other crucial factors at a variety of banks with complete online servicing. There are also detailed reviews of a handful of the “best” online banks with links to official information. Remember that, though the trend is toward expanded online features pretty much everywhere, not every small bank or credit union has a full suite of online services just yet. If online banking is important to you, this might provide the answer.
Last, but not least, don’t forget that a credible financial advisor can help you: not only with choosing a new bank, but a whole range of other crucial tasks, including dealing with creditors and reducing credit card balances. They may provide insight into a savings or investment strategy that will color your opinion on the best bank for you.