Money Quirks & Banking Habits

Everyone has their money quirks, and I’m certainly no different. The other week my HB and I were talking to his financial advisor, and we started talking about the possibility of me combining my investments with his.

For as long as we’ve been together (7 years this March actually), we’ve always kept our finances separate. It wasn’t until we started living together a few years back that we finally took the plunge and got a joint chequing account together.

Other than that, we kind of have a “my money, my choice on how I spend it” agreement. It’s worked well for us so far (I don’t think we’ve ever had a fight about money), but it doesn’t hurt that we’re just generally frugal people and are always open about our finances.

So, as we were talking about the savings goals we had in mind with our advisor (home purchase, retirement, travel), he started giving me a bit of a sales pitch on how I should also switch my day to day accounts over to the bank as well. This is a pretty big bank, actually it’s the one I started out with when I was just a kid.

But to this day the one thing I just cannot turn a blind eye to are those pesky big bank fees! There’s seriously a fee for everything! There’s a monthly fee to hold a chequing account (and more fees if you want more than one account); there’s a fee for using your debit card too much; there’s a fee for not being active on your account enough; the list goes on and on.

Since I think it’s ridiculous to pay fees to a bank that’s already making a killing on the money I’m handing over to them, for the past 5 or so years I’ve done all my banking at a credit union and have had no complaints. I can do as many debit transactions as I like, I can open as many chequing accounts as I like, and gosh darn it the people who work there are seriously some of the nicest people I’ve ever met!

So why the heck would I move all my money over to some big, greedy bank that requires me to spend $4 per month just to hold a chequing account? Well, I said all this (minus the greedy bank part) to the advisor, to which he suggested I stop using my debit card and instead use their bank’s credit card for purchases instead. Getting the credit card would eliminate that monthly fee, plus I would gain points which would eventually turn into cash or goods.

A totally fair point, except I am a debit person to the core. I almost never have cash, and I hate having a balance on my credit card. I equate credit with evil and so I only use my credit card when necessary and then I pay it off as soon as I can. With debit, it’s one easy swipe and I know exactly where I stand with my budget.

So, the question is, should I change my longstanding money and banking habits to save $4 a month? It would be nice to have my money all in one place.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

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