Everyday Cheapskate: Debit Cards are the Motorcycles of Personal Finance
STICK TO CASH
Cash is cool because it is limiting. Cash can't bounce. I find spending cash keeps me more aware of what I'm doing. Plastic just isn't the real thing. Retailers love to see you swipe a plastic card for payment because they know you'll spend more in their store or at their website than if you are limited by the cash in your wallet.
DEPOSITS ARE SLOW; DEBITS ARE FAST
Don't assume you'll have immediate access to funds you just deposited. Most banks place a hold on deposits for a few days; others place a hold for up to a week. And if your debits come through while the deposit is on hold? Brace yourself. It will be just as if you had never made the deposit.
Don't assume anything. A bank's policies and guidelines can change overnight, so keep up. And if you get burned by your bank, don't take it lying down. Speak up. Explain your situation, and ask them to waive the fees and penalties. If your bank or credit union isn't known for its customer-friendly policies, remember there are plenty out there that are.
Mary invites you to visit her at EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/contact/, "Ask Mary." Tips can be submitted at tips.everydaycheapskate.com/. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."Copyright 2021 Creators Syndicate Inc.