Top Five Questions To Ask Your Bank In 2013
On January 1 across the country thousands of people will have made a promise to themselves. If you’re one of these people who made a New Year’s resolution in early hours of 2013, odds on they’ll centre around three things: fitness, family and being better with your money.
While banks aren’t necessarily in a position to help you with the first two, they can help you be good with your money. And who knows, perhaps that might even have a positive effect on the first two.
BNZ acting CEO Andy Symons says, “The beginning of the year can be a good time to review your finances and make sure everything is working effectively for you. A quick conversation with your bank can be a huge help.”
To help New Zealanders get more out of their money in 2013 BNZ has put together five questions to ask your bank in the New Year.
What fees am I paying that I shouldn’t
It’s easy to ignore or overlook fees you’re paying on your accounts, especially if it’s only a few dollars here and there. However, over time amounts that might seem insignificant on their own start to add up. Always read the terms and conditions and if you don’t understand some of the language, talk to your bank. Make sure you’re on the accounts that are right for you. Many banks will conduct a review of your transactions to come up with a solution that’s a perfect for your type of usage.
2. How can I make the most from rewards
A lot of people miss out on these. Many banks have great rewards schemes associated with their products. You can get FlyBuys points and airpoints from a number of banking products so it makes sense to have these services working for you. Talk to your bank to ensure you’re making the most of the services and products you use. After all, who doesn’t love a free flight to Australia every now and again?
3. How can
I reduce my debts?
If a hefty shopping list has put you into the red over Christmas don’t despair! The big thing here is budgeting and there are many services out there that can help you get a better understanding of your money and manage it effectively. If you need a hand to help organise everything, your bank should be your first port of call. Don’t suffer in silence; the earlier you talk to your bank if you think you’re in trouble, the better the outcome will be for everyone.
4. Should I be in Kiwisaver?
The short answer for the vast majority of New Zealanders over 18 is yes. The sooner you start saving for the future and your retirement the better off you will be in the long term. Well over 2 million people are onboard with Kiwisaver and it’s for a good reason. With a government kickstart of $1000 and employer contributions of up to 4% it’s a great way to save. There’s also an option to withdraw early for a house deposit if you need it. Shop around and see what scheme is best for you and your money. Also consider whether you should be in a growth fund. For younger people, this could make a huge difference to your balance at retirement.
How can I protect myself from fraud?
Keep your personal information safe and secure. Never tell anyone your passwords or pin numbers. Your bank will NEVER ask for this type of information so that’s a good way to spot something dodgy. Check your transactions and bank balances regularly so can pick up if anything is amiss. If you suspect you’ve been taken in by a scam contact your bank immediately – we have people that can help you out.