Guiding consumers since 2009

How to keep a healthy bank account

By Angelique Ruzicka

A healthy bank balance with plenty of zeros is surely what makes a ‘healthy bank account’, but according to FNB nothing could be further from the truth. It’s actually all about how you manage your money. Khathu Ramoliko, sub-segment head for FNB Gold says under the current economic circumstances, consumers are on the lookout for ways to cut costs while some resort to extraordinary steps such as skipping debit order payments or withdrawing every cent the minute they get their salary. 

“This kind of behaviour carries a number of risks - not only will your account be overdrawn but the long-term negative impact will be adverse remarks on your credit record should you skip debit orders. This is why it’s important for consumers to know the importance of keeping their bank accounts in good standing,” he explains.

 Check your debits and credits

 It’s important to conduct a health check on your finances by looking at items coming out and into your bank account. Ramoliko most people avoid looking at their finances until things go wrong. “Simply looking at where you may be overspending could help you: for example, cutting back on items such as entertainment, coffee, snacks can help you keep your finances in good health.” 

Compare costs 

Another way of ensuring you keep a healthy bank account is to have an account that suits your needs and financial aspirations. Compare bank accounts on a regular basis. It could be easier and cheaper, for instance, to take up a bundle option where you pay a single fee for a comprehensive range of services.

 “We see the majority of our Gold customers being able to get much more value from their bundled accounts as it gives them the ability to control their spend, earn eBucks Rewards while enjoying a number of free benefits like free card swipes and cash@till transactions. The upside of having a good handle on your account is that you are able to balance between saving and spending,” says Ramoliko. 

Get to grips with debt 

Managing your debt is also vital. At any given time your bank account gives a reliable snapshot of your relationship with money. “Whether it’s a personal loan or an application for housing finance, you need to be able to demonstrate through your bank statement that you can afford the loan for the duration of the payment term. On the savings side, make provision for emergencies by setting up a scheduled transfer into a savings account, this money can cushion you against any unplanned costs, such as having to replace your car tyres unexpectedly for example.

“Consumers must always prioritise keeping a healthy bank account as it gives a person much more financial flexibility and better financial prospects,” concludes Ramoliko.

Handy tip: To compare bank accounts, click here.

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