Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Changing banks

The first step of The Barefoot Investor's finance guide is ditching your old bank and moving to a cheaper online bank. Even though I rarely use 'foreign' ATM's I probably do rack up about $10 a year in these fees, plus my lovely big 4 bank charged me an account fee on a few occasions when I was home on maternity leave and not depositing $2000 a month into the account! They refused to refund the money... not happy Jan!

So the thought of saving some money, plus setting up a new system of banking for me and my partner that would be 'set and forget' was appealing. I particularly like the Barefoot's use of two transaction accounts: one for daily expenses and one for 'splurging'. My partner doesn't spend much on coffees and eating out, and I always feel a bit guilty that I'm eating into our money. However, he likes to buy records. By having a separate splurge account each we'll be able to spend what we want, on what we want, up to a limit. It will be a great way for me to track and prioritise my spending.

So we agreed to set up the accounts with ING. What I didn't expect was the sheer effort involved with switching banks! I have spent many, many hours over the last week or so setting up accounts and amending our direct debits. The fact that I had no idea what the account logins or passwords were for most accounts added to the pain factor.

To give you an idea of the number of changes, here is a list of the changes I've made. They include regular direct debits, apps that include payments (Uber etc) and incoming money (ie. Centrelink, Medicare):
  • Rent - set up recurring payments in new account and cancel old
  • Childcare -  set up recurring payments in new account and cancel old
  • Swimming lessons - fill in a hard copy form with new bank details
  • MYKI transport pass - amended auto top up online
  • ATO - amended via MyGov
  • Centrelink - amended via MyGov
  • Medicare - amended via MyGov
  • Health Insurance - direct debits amended online
  • Uber - amended via the APP
  • PAYBYPHONE - amended via the APP
  • Online Wine Shop - direct debits amended online
  • Mobile phone -  direct debits amended online
  • Internet - direct debits amended online
  • Netflix - direct debits amended online
  • The Age - direct debits amended online
  • Citylink - direct debits amended online
  • iTunes/Apple store - details amended online
And I'm sure I've forgotten some, so I've left some money in the old accounts just in case!

I also closed down my credit card and old savings accounts. The banks make this VERY difficult to do! I had to go into a branch and plead my case. For the credit card they even had to make a call and they tried the up sell! Let me say that it is a lot easier to open an account than to close it.

However, I had one win. I convinced the bank staff member to have a read of the Barefoot Investor and to consider switching to a no-fee online bank!

No comments:

Post a Comment