How to have a healthier savings account

21/11/2019

How to have a healthier bank account 

A healthy bank account doesn’t always mean having tens of thousands in your current or savings account. Rather, it’s about having a good standing and managing your account well.

Of course, we all want a hefty bank balance but, even without one, you can do smart banking things that will safeguard your money and grow your savings. From online security, to keeping a check on your spending and paying those bills on time, here’s how you can achieve and maintain a robust account.

  1. Don’t buy things on credit when you can’t afford them

    It’s one thing paying for something in an emergency using your credit card. It’s another thing using your credit card to buy a new pair of shoes or golf clubs. Buying things you can’t afford to pay for right now costs you interest in the future. The more you buy on credit, the more you pay.

    Abusing your credit card with reckless spending locks you into a cycle of paying off debt and interest. It’s often difficult and time-consuming to get out of it, and the result is that your financial goals can become a distant memory.

  2. Find out if you have the optimal account for your needs

    Do you know if your money is growing at the best possible rate in the account it’s currently in? Are you better off with a tax free investment account, or a tax free savings account? You might not have the answers to these, so find them — whether through an online search or, better yet, chatting to your bank or banker. You could be earning more simply by putting your money elsewhere and finding, for example, the best savings interest rates for your cash.
     
  3. Know your bank charges

    Off the top of your head, how much are you paying in bank charges? Could you be paying less for the same offering elsewhere?

  4. Don’t buy things on credit when you can’t afford them

    It’s one thing paying for something in an emergency using your credit card. It’s another thing using your credit card to buy a new pair of shoes or golf clubs. Buying things you can’t afford to pay for right now costs you interest in the future. The more you buy on credit, the more you pay.

    Abusing your credit card with reckless spending locks you into a cycle of paying off debt and interest. It’s often difficult and time-consuming to get out of it, and the result is that your financial goals can become a distant memory.

  5. Find out if you have the optimal account for your needs

    Do you know if your money is growing at the best possible rate in the account it’s currently in? Are you better off with a tax free investment account, or a tax free savings account? You might not have the answers to these, so find them — whether through an online search or, better yet, chatting to your bank or banker. You could be earning more simply by putting your money elsewhere and finding, for example, the best savings interest rates for your cash.

  6. Know your bank charges

    Off the top of your head, how much are you paying in bank charges? Could you be paying less for the same offering elsewhere?
     
  7. Don’t skip debit order payments

    Just like buying on credit, skipping payments can also be damaging to your accounts and your financial standing. Not only will it upset a supplier, but account will be overdrawn, you’ll end up paying interest, and you’ll negatively affect your credit record.

    If you can’t afford a payment, rather speak to the supplier about a payment plan that won’t affect you adversely.

  8. Do an inventory

    This might sound like the most obvious one, but usually it’s the last place people look at to keep their accounts healthy. By keeping an eye on your spending, including all those small charges and costs that add up in the end, you’ll know how to nip, tuck and save. 

    Check your statements regularly — often payments slip by erroneously because you’re not paying attention, or because you’re not expecting it.

  9. Exercise banking safety

    Again, these tips sound so simple, but are so often overlooked. Always log in from secure machines, never share your banking passwords or PIN, avoid Phishing scams, and change your banking passwords and PINs regularly. 

 

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Our mission is to be a successful Retail Bank offering a wide range of products and services to the consumers of South Africa. The people who work for African Bank represent the diverse population of South Africa; therefore we are a reflection of you, of all South Africans. We seek to provide value - more than our consumers expect of us. We promise to live our purpose 'humanity through banking' in all that we do and we are confident that we can, because 'We are You'.