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5 Ways To Save Your Money From Your Bank In 2020

News Hub Creator 12/23/2019

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It is very likely that you feel that flash of irritation when your phone vibrates and it's a debit alert from your bank. Nigerian banks seem to have a modus operandi of trying to take as much money as they can from your savings, without offering much in return. Unlike their foreign counterparts, who would entice you with cash rewards to open an account, offer free services like car and gadget insurance to make sure you benefit from being their customer. 

Each time you carry out a transaction, either by card, POS or online there is a charge. Sometimes you don't even need to do anything to pay a charge, you just need to be a customer. Card maintenance fee, COT, ATM withdrawal charge, transfer fee, account maintenance, SMS fee - the list is endless. 

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While the amounts debited from your account are small enough to be almost negligible, these little amounts add up to a rather healthy chunk of cash. In July, I added up all the charges I was aware of on one account and it came up to N2,210. In a year, that could be up to N26,520. It could even be more in some cases. 

It’s hard to imagine why an institution which is supposed to help you save money, will exploit legal loopholes to take your money under the guise of services that shouldn't even be paid for.

These five tips can help you save money from going into your bank's pockets.

Disable SMS alerts

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Do you really need those SMS alerts for transactions? If you have a smartphone, tablet or PCs with regular internet access, NO. Chances are you have an active data subscription or access to the internet. Sign up for email alerts instead as they are free. You should get an email once a transaction is carried out on your account.

Send money only to accounts within your banks

Sending money to a different bank from yours incurs some charges. It’s rather unfair that you need to pay for a transaction that takes little effort. Those charges range from N50 to N100 per transaction depending on your bank. 5 transactions monthly could cost you up to N500 with just one bank. So if you need to send money to someone, ask if they have an account with any of your banks.

Use your bank’s ATM

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While cash machines can be a lifesaver, the endless queues, security concerns and impatient users can be a nuisance. Using another bank’s ATM will slap you with a N65 charge per withdrawal. (According to the CBN, this amount will be reduced to N35 from next year) Some cash machines are designed to extort, dispensing just N10,000 instead of the regular N20,000. If you need to withdraw N100,000 you could pay up to N650, not forgetting the stress of 10 different transactions. Use cash points that belong to your bank, as there is no withdrawal charge.

Use savings accounts to avoid stamp duty

The stamp duty is another charge that's a source for concern. Apparently, this stamp duty does not apply on transactions done via savings accounts. So if you need to do a transfer online, transfer from your current account to your savings (no charge) and then from your savings to the other account. This one is a bit tricky, as in aware of a particular bank that has found a way to restrict sending money from a savings account if you have a current account with them. 

Reduce the number of bank cards you own

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Do you really need a card for all the accounts you have? The answer is NO. First, you have to pay for the card, and then the ridiculous card maintenance fee. If it gets missing, you need to pay for a new one. Seems like Nigerian banks keep taking and give nothing back. You can have a card for one, maybe 2 depending on how many accounts you operate. You don't even need cheque books. Open a savings account and get your online banking. Transfer to your bank account that has a card or use a withdrawal slip in the banking hall that's free.

Implementing some of these tips will help save you a considerable amount of money. Depending on how many accounts you use and amount of transactions, you could save even more. Save the money and treat yourself, or maybe even someone else. It is your money after all and you should decide how it is spent, not your bank. In the words of musician Bobby Brown, it's your prerogative.

Twitter/Instagram: @PresidentZibby

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