Welcome to today’s post: Single Women and Choosing Basic Financial Services. This is part two in the Becoming a Financially Savvy Single Woman series.
If you haven’t been actively involved in handling the household finances, it can be overwhelming figuring out how to open a new bank account and what financial services you’ll need. Be prepared, ladies. At some point in our lives it is very likely we’re going to find ourselves single and figuring out how to do everything on our own.
In Part One, Single Women and Banking, we covered banks and credit unions and service fees. My recommendation is to find a credit union with a no-fee account to use for your daily banking needs.
Today’s post will help you choose basic financial services and find an online bank.
Choosing basic financial services
When you set up a bank account, you’ll need a checking account, a savings account, a debit card, and access to the financial institution’s website so you can go online to pay bills or transfer money.
But what else can your bank or credit union do for you?
- Safety deposit box
- Credit card
- Financial advisor
- Mutual funds
Be aware that the financial institution’s financial advisor is going to try to sell you mutual funds, along with their high management fees. But they can also offer you financial advice that you might not be aware of for your financial situtation.
Read more about dealing with a bank of credit union and the services they offer by clicking the banner below.
An online bank is not the same thing as your bank’s website that has online banking.
The online bank is virtual. There are no brick and mortar locations where you walk inside to do your banking.
In Canada EQ Bank and Tangerine are the most popular online banks. I have accounts at both, but I keep most of my online money at EQ Bank. They have the highest interest rates on savings accounts in Canada. There’s no minimum balance and it’s a good place to park an emergency fund or other specific savings accounts.
Here’s an article in the Financial Post about the best online banks in Canada.
If you’re in the states, here’s an article from US News that talks about the difference between online banking and online banks. It also rates the best online banks.
You will need a regular bank account with access to online banking to move money in and out of your online bank.
When choosing an online bank, you want the one that’s most convenient for you. Part of the reason I chose EQ Bank is because it has the highest interest rate in Canada and there is no minimum balance required.
As you take the steps on becoming a financially savvy single woman, it’s your decision alone to decide what financial services you require.
Don’t get talked into spending $75 a year on a safety deposit box unless you have valuable jewelry or irreplaceable papers to keep inside it.
Same thing with other financial services that you don’t need or want. Just say no!
Choose the best online bank for you based on services you need and use. For example, EQ Bank offers free eTransfers. I don’t use that service often, but if you send money to others frequently and your bank charges you a dollar or two to send money, this could be a huge money saving benefit. Coast Capital charged me $1.50 the couple of times I sent an eTransfer. Moving forward, I’ll be using EQ if I need to send anyone money electronically.
What financial services are important to you? Does your bank charge service fees to access them?
More posts in the Becoming a Financially Savvy Woman series
Part 1: Single Women and Banking
Part 3: Single Women and Investing
Part 4: Single Women and Busting Debt
Published by Cheryl @ The Lifestyle Digs on November 8, 2021.