Dear students, whether you’re studying full-time or balancing work and studies, you find yourself in a unique time of your life. The thought that this phase of your life will end in a few short years might not even have nestled into your mind yet.
And that’s just fine. After all, some individuals can just become downright boring when they start with their working lives after tertiary education. But not you – you’re going to study hard to attain that degree, make wise financial choices, and enjoy life as a student. But, does that mean living a life of financial ignorance until you graduate the student status?
The benefit of the student status.
Being a student comes with an array of great advantages, the obvious one being the attainment of a formal qualification. But, did you know that college is also a time when you can get tons of discounts and rewards just for being a student? Most likely you did. Businesses and tertiary institutions have loads of perks for students to enjoy, from discounted gym memberships and travel packages to restaurants offering great specials. Unfortunately, perks and benefits usually come at the price of buying something, somewhere. The reality is, being a student can also take out more of your pocket than you are earning – in wages or pocket money.
Being a student can also be expensive.
Students all around the world, including South African scholars, know just how expensive studying can be. You have to pay for accommodation, meals, textbooks and much more, just to get started. These, among other costly items, can amount to great sums of money that you, or if you’re fortunate enough, your parents need to pay.
One of these costly items is the much unknown cost of banking. Ignorance can be bliss, and in many cases it hurts eventually. The convenient benefit of being a student is that you can open a student bank account that has fewer restrictions and lower banking fees than many general cheque and savings accounts. With its low banking fees, many feel it is a terrible task of even bothering with the accounting of the low cost. The truth is, not knowing your banking costs as a student won’t cost you the world. But the prevailing attitude of ignore might just do that. Below we delve into banking costs and the little you need to know to make it work for you.
What you need to know about banking costs.
Banks make money by charging various fees on a monthly basis. Thankfully, with a bit of effort and a comparison of various bank accounts, one can quickly find a suitable and cost effective solution. Before deciding on one, you need to consider aspects like monthly maintenance fees, ATM withdrawal fees, and electronic transfer fees.
As a student, this will make up the majority of your monthly banking costs. Thanks to the advancement of online comparison tools, like Fincheck, a quick search will yield all the information necessary to make the best decision when choosing an account.
As a student, the main aspects of banking costs to look out for are
Making up the largest part of your total fee, is the monthly base fee, enabling you to have an account. Look hard enough and you’ll even find banks offering student accounts with no monthly fees.
Withdrawal, Electronic, and Deposit fees
Although seemingly insignificant, ATM withdrawal fees can add up, especially if making use of other bank’s ATMs. So make the effort and always try to withdraw at your specific bank’s ATM. Also, make sure to compare electronic funds transfer and deposit fees if you regularly make payments to beneficiaries etc.
As an active young adult, you might find yourself abroad and possibly need cash at some stage or another. Make sure to compare international service fees as well.
Mobile and Online services.
Part of being a student is that you seldom have and don’t want to waste any time to do trivial things such as paying bills. This means that students need a way of doing banking on the go. That’s where banking online and mobile banking come in handy. Luckily, all major banks in South Africa are and have upped their game with regards to online and mobile services that can provide you with hassle-free payment and budgeting services.
The Bottom Line
The cost of banking is but one major part of the overall banking experience. Taking account of these seemingly trivial costs will help your financial well-being throughout life. They key is to figure out what you need and work to finding the perfect fit.
Different banks have different features, and even different student accounts within the same bank are designed to appeal to different sets of needs. Have a good idea of what you want and pick the bank that’s right for you, it will make your student life a lot easier.
Lastly, if you’re not really sure what you are currently paying when it comes to your bank account, take the time and read through all the information provided by your bank so you can know what you are paying and so you can make a shift to another bank if need be. Fincheck trusts that 2016 will be a great year financially and in your studies. Here’s to the celebration upon attaining your qualification and to an ever increasing positive balance on your student account!