free piggy bank broken

Pick Up Dollars, Not Cents!

Information verified correct on December 7th, 2016

This valuable lesson took me ten years to learn.
You can master it in three minutes flat.
And it could well save you plenty of time, money and tears.

Lifelong earning

For a decade I banked loyally with the same bank.
Right through my early financial life, they were there:

  • Counting my childhood money box.
  • Setting up my first savings account.
  • Organising credit cards for my business.

I thought we had the perfect partnership ... until I went to buy my first home.

Money talks

I needed a loan to secure a modest one-bedroom apartment.
I did some basic online research to see what a good interest rate was.
Then I called my bank.
After ten years of dealing with them, I thought they’d honour our long relationship.
I thought they’d offer me a better rate than what I’d found online.
They did not.
They said flat out that it wasn't possible.
That hurt.

Currency shock

I was confused.
I thought there was supposed to be bank loyalty.
I’d been loyal to them; now it was their turn to reciprocate.
But it seems their loyalty didn’t extend far beyond that first free money box.
By banking with them, I’d saved a few cents here and there.
But when the chips were down, on something that really mattered, they were nowhere to be seen.
And so I went with the lender who’d offered the best deal I’d found online.
In so doing, I saved myself more than $10,000 per year in interest.

Moral dilemma

The moral of this story is that in banking, there are no morals.
Banks are corporations, not people.
Corporations don’t care about you. So why should you care about them?
Instead of trusting your hopes and dreams to some fanciful invisible friend, I suggest you get real.
So here are my morals:

  • Focus on big wins not small ones.
  • When you compare and change financial products, you save thousands of dollars, not a few cents.
  • Banks aren't loyal to you. It makes no sense to be loyal to them.

I learnt all this the hard way.
I trust you won’t make the same mistake.

Fred Schebesta

Fred Schebesta is a Director of finder.com.au and loves being frugal and finding loopholes in deals.

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