Sunday, June 12, 2011

Give Yourself A Raise By Joining A Credit Union

Maybe I never joined a credit union because my bank account balance was always low.  Earning interest on $0 is still $0.  Now that I am working and living in the real world I don't live paycheck to paycheck.  I've got a pumped up emergency fund to go with my savings and checking accounts.  That's one big pile of cash that could be earning interest for me.

The problem was that I was banking at Chase and they are a regular bank (herein referred to as an evil bank).  An evil bank is for profit, and definitely not for profit of their customers, like me.  That's why I made the decision to leave and go find a credit union.  Credit unions are non-profit banks that pass their profits onto their customers, like me.  Now I can get on board with that.  I love money and if you want to give me money just for banking with you, well that sounds alright to me.

I started to look around at credit unions in my area.  I was looking for the best paying interest rate.  What I found was a variety of credit union rates, from 0.005 to .0311%.  Now obviously 0.005% is less than 1% interest, so that sucks but it's still better than the 0.001% I was earning with Chase.  I picked the credit union that is paying out 3% on my money.  So essentially I just gave myself a 3% raise just by moving my banking over to a new bank.

They offer free online banking, no monthly fees, ATM fee reimbursement, and a network of credit unions in my area to offer more convenience for me.  My new credit union will pay 3% on my first $11,000 and 1.5% thereafter (up to $51,000).  Since I haven't maxed out the full $51,000 requirement I know that every dollar I have is making AT LEAST 1.5% in interest for me.  When I reach the max or find a better investment I will move my money to there, when appropriate.

Pretty much all things are equal between my new credit union and Chase, except for that sexy 3% interest rate I will now be getting.  And just as a quick side note, my credit union at work pays 4% on my first $1,000 with no requirements (just leave it sit there and earn interest).  So I left $1,000 in that account and took out the rest to deposit in my new account.

If math isn't your friend then just do this: Take your entire account balance, all the money you have. Multiply that number by .03.  That is your yearly interest gain.  Take that number and divide by 12 to figure out your monthly interest gain.  So whatever your numbers are that is how much you would be earning yearly or monthly on 3% interest.  If that number doesn't impress you then your bank account balance is probably pretty small.  We will address that issue in the future.

Example: $10,000 x .03% = $300 a year in interest.  $300 / 12 months = $25 a month in interest.  That would pay my water bill.

If you're freshly unplugged from the financial matrix dream land you've been living in then I highly suggest you look around for a credit union to join.  It is very quick and easy way to start showing financial responsibility.  Go ahead and give yourself that raise.

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