8 Ways to Get More Treats Than Tricks From Your Money
Money tricks can be scary for your pocketbook. But these financial treats can be better than a pillowcase full of candy.
Each year Americans spend more than $9 billion dollars on Halloween. Costumes, decorations, candy — it all adds up. By the time November comes, hopefully you’ve found Halloween was a treat.
When it comes to trick-or-treating with your money, it doesn’t just happen one night a year — it can happen every day of the year. These tricks can be scary on the pocketbook. But treats for your money can be better than a pillowcase full of candy.
Money Trick: 90 days same as cash
Who doesn’t like getting something right away and not having to pay for it for months? The truth is that most people forget to pay the balance off at the agreed upon time and they end up paying up to 20% or more in interest. That’s a trick.
Money Treat: OnCard
When you spend money using your regular credit card or debit card, it can be difficult to track your spending. However, if you have a Zions Bank checking account you can order a reloadable, prepaid debit card called OnCard. OnCard has a built-in money management app that can help you meet your financial goals. From your phone or computer, the app acts as the command center for all card-related activity. You can track your spending, budget intelligently and share money with family members. That’s a treat.
Money Trick: Fast cash payday loans
Paydays loans are super easy and convenient. They are also super expensive. It is easy to pay interest up to 500% or more. At the end of the year, frequent payday loan users often find that they paid $500 or more in fees and interest, and often more than the amount borrowed. That’s a trick.
Money Treat: Automatic transfers
Consider setting up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account to occur every time you get paid. The more you transfer automatically, the more your savings will grow. Having a healthy savings account is a great way to avoid payday loan tricks. Emergencies happen over time so by building up your savings a little bit every payday, you have a way to pay for emergencies. That’s a treat.
Money Trick: Carrying a balance on a reward credit card
Who doesn’t like earning cash back bonuses or airline miles? It’s a great deal, but only if you pay off your credit card balance each month. Otherwise, the amount you pay in interest is more than what you can make in rewards. That’s a trick.
Money Treat: 401(k) matching funds
Social Security was only designed to replace 20% of your income. It is up to you to make up the difference by saving for retirement. While most employers don’t offer pension plans, many offer 401(k) plans and often they match your contributions, sometimes up to 100%.
Do your future self a favor and find a way to contribute to your 401(k), at least up to the limit where you receive a matching contribution. Although this only looks like a few dollars extra each pay period, by the time you retire it could grow to hundreds of thousands of dollars thanks to compound interest. That’s a treat.
Money Trick: One-click shopping
Shopping is more convenient than ever. Whether it is Amazon’s One Click, browser credit card storage, Echo device ordering, or Apple Pay on your phone, you can easily spend money without touching your wallet or even knowing how much you have in the bank. But convenience comes with a price. Vendors know that you spend more when they make it more convenient. That’s a trick.
Money Treat: Raise your insurance deductibles
If you are the kind of person who rarely makes an insurance claim, you may be paying too much for insurance. This is because the amount of your premium depends in part on the size of your deductible. If you raise your deductible, your premium will go down. You can add the money you are saving to your emergency fund. Over time it should grow to more than the increase in your deductible. Self-insurance is typically cheaper then buying insurance, so only pay for what you can’t cover from your emergency fund. That’s a treat.
Avoiding these tricks and seeking these treats should result in money in the bank — money you can use next year to pay for trick-or-treat candy.
Please refer to the Deposit Account Agreement, Account Disclosure, Deposit Rate Sheet and Personal Account Schedule of Fees available in the Zions Bank Agreement Center, or visit a local Zions Bank branch to speak with a banker for more details.
Don Milne is Financial Literacy manager for Zions Bank.