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The End of an Era

Last week I finally made  a decision to say goodbye to a long trusted “friend”: my first checking account.

The idea of closing this particular account has been floating around in the back of my mind for a couple of years, as I rarely use that account for anything and the bank locations aren’t exactly convenient to where I live or work.

Until last week though, I never had a real reason to make the effort to close the account, as my work allowed me to direct deposit funds into it from every paycheck (while still letting me deposit into my primary bank account at another bank), and I was able to depend on the rarely used account for impulse purchases or “emergencies” that I hadn’t planned for in my monthly budgeting. I could have just as easily closed it years ago and started using my actual savings account for the same purpose, but I liked knowing I had a fallback stash of money at a completely different bank.

My decision to close the account once and for all was solidified when I realized that my lack of using the account for anything other than depositing money and occasionally withdrawing it meant that I was being subjected to a monthly maintenance fee.

After calling the bank and asking how I could prevent getting charged such a fee, and being told that essentially I’d need to either keep a pretty significant balance or make sure I used my debit card for that account more than 4 times a month, I realized that the time had finally come to say goodbye.

I would have been fine with either of those solutions if I intended to use the account for anything other than a rainy-day type fund, but since I already have another financial institution that gives me significantly better account perks, I wasn’t worried too much about closing my old trusty account. And I understand where that bank is coming from to enforce such regulations on account use/balances or charge fees to keep themselves in business, but I just didn’t want to play those games.

I thought I’d be okay with just using the one bank for everything, but after just a few days I find myself missing the fact that I no longer have money stashed away elsewhere. I know there are a lot of options for various banks out there that I could easily start up new accounts at, so for now I will be researching for the best solution to fit my needs/wants.

My list of wants for a new bank account is pretty short (and not unreasonable):

1. No monthly/yearly service fees

2. No restrictions on deposit/balance amounts

3. No penalties for just depositing money and not regularly making withdrawls

Any advice to point me in the right direction would be helpful. 🙂



One Response

  1. I really like ING. I believe it fits all of your requirements, and you’ll get money just for starting an account there. (In fact, I think I’ll get money if you use my referral link, so let me know if you decide to go with them.)

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