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Intersection of Life and Faith

Save money at the bank

  • Robert Frank Editor of No-Debt Living Newsletter
  • 2000 6 Jun
  • COMMENTS
Save money at the bank
Reprinted with permission from No-Debt Living Newsletter, copyright 2000 No-Debt Living. Written by Robert Frank, the editor of No-Debt Living Newsletter, providing financial and time-management news with a Christian perspective.

Paying the bank for checks is a real annoyance, particularly when you're paying double what you could get them for elsewhere.

Let's face it. The bank is a business and its primary goal is to make a profit ... and that's good. You don't want to put your money in a bank that isn't profitable.

But you're already doing your part to help. If you have a checking or savings account, you're letting the bank use your money for about 2.4% to 3.9% interest. In return, if you take out a car loan, you get charged about 9% interest -- such a deal. In addition, if your checking account balance falls below $500 to $1,000 at any time during the month, you're probably paying an additional $5 to $10 per month in service charges.

Other than shopping for better rates, there is little you can do to change that scenario.

However, when it comes purchasing checks, you can save yourself a bit of money by buying elsewhere.

Don't get nervous. The bank police won't knock on your door in the middle of the night and ask to see your checks. In fact, no one but you will notice the change. Most banks don't print checks anyway. They buy them through a supplier at an extremely low wholesale price and charge you retail. So, why not buy directly from the check manufacturers, enjoy a huge selection of colorful designs and save yourself a few bucks every time you order?

The average person uses about 600 checks per year. Standard mail order checks (with carbon copies) usually cost $12.50 per 150 (including shipping). That's a savings of about $6 per 150 checks or $24 per year, compared to most banks.

If you have a penchant for the really fancy designer checks your savings could be as much as $32 to $70 per year. Granted, we're only talking a few dollars per order. But, when you add it up, you could be looking at a savings of $240 to $700 over the next 10 years. If you operate a small business, you can also get commercial check books and computer checks.

For a list of the best prices on mail order checks, including company names, addresses, websites, phone numbers and prices, visit No-Debt Living Newsletter.

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