Banks and Budgeting: Polar Opposites

I’m pretty sure Bank of America hates me. And I’m pretty sure Mint loves me. When one gives me lemons…the other one alerts me and reminds me to nag the first one for my money back.

Each morning, I log into Mint and get the latest transactions from my bank account. I like keeping track of my spending and renaming and organizing my finances. The faster I do this, the better success I have at remembering why there is a $20 charge from “Buff Bill” (that would be a local bar, Buffalo Billiards). My budget is always in sync and I can clearly see how I’m doing for the month and which areas to watch.

On Wednesday, I logged in as usual and I had an alert! I was charged a $5 maintenance fee by guess who – Bank of America! Of course it was them. I called up and found out that my one year grace period had expired on my savings account (that gives a whopping 0.10% interest!) I now had to either keep a $300 average daily balance in my saving account or set up recurring transfers of $25 per month. Plus, I have no idea why they didn’t give me a warning.

They refunded the fee, and my solution for the future is to set up a $25/month transfer in, followed by a $25/month transfer out a few days later. It’s a silly system, but if this is what they want, that’s fine with me. This will only last until November when I earn my Keep the Change bonus, at which point I’ll probably close the savings account (and leave the bank completely? I wish!).

So Bank of America, no matter how many times you try and steal my money, I won’t let you. Mint will keep reminding me, and I’ll keep fighting. Plus, you still haven’t given me my $25 bonus for using bill-pay, and I’m coming for that, too.

Daily Yakezie Short Carnival:

Garbage and excessive spending @ Early Retirement Extreme

Spending Money Wisely @ Canadian Finance Blog

14 Responses to Banks and Budgeting: Polar Opposites

  1. myfinancialobjectives says:

    Savings with BAC? Haven’t you heard all the Buzz? An ING savings account is all the rave.

    Also I’m not surprised by your story. Banks like BAC will find anyway to charge their customers. I’ve been pretty happy with Wachovia though.

    • Daniel says:

      @myfinancialobjectives, I don’t use it for anything but getting that fat $250 bonus. Right now there’s only $1.24 in there!

      • myfinancialobjectives says:

        @Daniel,

        Nice! Now that’s wise financial planning!

        I may have to look into that. Do you have a previous post about the details of the $250 bonus? Seems like a pretty good investment for only $1.24 :)

        • Daniel says:

          @myfinancialobjectives, With the keep the change, every purchases is rounded to the next dollar and those extra cents are sent to your savings account. Plus they match for the first 3 months. So when I made a lot of small purchases, I used the debit card and suddenly I had a ton of money in there. I transferred the money out, and in September, I’ll get the bonus.

          • myfinancialobjectives says:

            @Daniel,

            Ahh gotcha! Wow that sounds like a great deal, espiceially for the first three months. I’d buy my groceries 1 item at a time haha.

            That sounds comparable to Wachovia’s Way2Save program, though looks like you will be getting a much bigger bonus than my $96!

            I had a similar plan, though through Wachovia’s Way2Save program. You might like the read: http://myfinancialobjectives.com/?p=219

  2. Agree with @myfinancialobjectives….put your savings somewhere else! I have a BOA checking account, but I do savings in an account that will produce a higher yield.

    I wonder how things will change with BOAs new overdraft policy?

  3. Keith Morris says:

    I have a Bank of America checking account because there’s a branch walking distance from my apartment. I am just about ready to drop them. Most of my money is in ING, but I need a local bank in order to deposit cash and checks from time to time, and in order to write checks occasionally. I’m thinking about switching to a local credit union or USAA (qualifying customers can deposit checks remotely).

  4. FinEngr says:

    AHHHHHH. Daniel – Close that account NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWW *sound like Aziz? ;)

    I am going to comment on BAC until I am blue in the face!

    Did a quick search, and according their website they serve approx. 59 MILLION people (http://newsroom.bankofamerica.com/index.php?s=40). At $5 a pop per month…do the math. Even if only half pay that fee, it’s no longer latte money.

    Like My Financial Objectives commented on, they’re going to find other sneaky ways to steal your money since the new CC act limits that profit.

    People complain about bank bonuses…bonuses are based on profits…profits come from stealing your money…

    So the logical solution would be to MOVE YOUR MONEY ELSEWHERE.

  5. Sadly, we are stuck with Chase for much the same reasons (loved WAMU, hate Chase). My husband gets real checks with his hobby job and ING just can’t handle that.

    Our main money is also with Smarty Pig, our shorter-term money is mainly with ING, and our checks are deposited to Chase and moved to ING.

    Chase requires a minimum balance of $500 and I like to pad checking accounts with $1000, so Chase only has $1500-$2000 of our money at any given time. I’m seriously considering opening up an account with First Community Credit Union for their 4% interest checking (with 12 debits a month; I hate debit cards, but this would be worth it), but I’d have to park and go in everytime I want to make a deposit…hmmm…how lazy am I…

  6. That whole transferring money from the checking to the savings account is ridiculous. Wells Fargo is doing the same thing with a personal checking account I had to open, according to them (they won’t deposit or cash checks made out to me or my husband through our business acct. anymore – don’t know why.) But in my case it’s $75. I don’t remember them telling me it was a limited option on the account. Maybe I should look into this! Thanks for this info.

  7. Mike says:

    Haha!

    I love Mint’s weekly update. That’s what I use to make sure that I’m not a victim of any additional service charges or fraudulent purchases.

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