It’s the little things that add up, a small fee there, a little deduction there and suddenly (if you add it all up), a few hundred Rands went off your account that you could have prevented. But, typically we don’t add the cost of our convenience up, as scanning down the monthly charges on our bank statement and adding up five Rands here, eight there, etc. just takes too much time, but if you did you will be surprised at how much you are charged unnecessarily.
Firstly choose the best bank and account for your needs
If you do some careful shopping you will notice the difference between banks and what the offer V’s the charges for looking after your money. Is your current bank account the right choice for your needs? For example…Some people have a business account but the business for one reason or another never really took off, but they are now using this account for daily personal use and getting charged more for the privilege of having a business banking account.
Here is an article by BuisnessTech with a breakdown of the cheapest and most expensive banking options.
Bank with the most cost effective method
Depending on your chosen bank they will have different charges for different ways of banking with them. Typically cellphone banking is more cost effective than internet banking with going into the bank being the least cost effective (both in fees and wasting your time).
Debit orders V’s manual EFTS
For recurring payments, debit orders are convenient, reliable and mostly stress-free (assuming the money is there to cover the deduction). But you are charged for this convenience. For most recurring payments, you may not be given the option of manually paying (car payments, etc.) but for those you can, it is a good idea to do it yourself (just don’t forget to do so!).
Keep your balance in the black
Besides being able to earn the best interest possible (depends on your balance), you avoid being penalised for any debit orders that get returned unpaid. Depending on the bank or institution this can be quite extortionate.
Pay accounts on time
While some companies are more customer friendly and will give you grace if you do not pay on time, most will charge you extra, either in the form of interest or on a sliding scale. Avoid late payment fees and pay on time by making a note of the official payment date (most are either on the 25 or the first of the month).
Don’t carry cash
It is handy to have cash available but decide how much you need and use your credit and transaction card for the rest of the day to day shopping and payments. Cards are typically charged less per transaction than drawing money from an ATM.
Also, consider using your card to cover the debit orders as you will be penalised less with a deduction that is declined due to insufficient funds than a debit order not going off.
Stop paying for things you don’t benefit from
Cancel any subscriptions, memberships or schemes that you are paying for but not making use of. This includes any bank service – for example: if you signed up for an “earn cash back when you spend service” and find that you are being charged more than the cash you are getting back, then the course of action should be obvious as you are just letting the bank charge you unnecessarily.
Do all of the above and it will feel like you are getting some free money. Contact us if you need some expert accounting advice.