The Problem: America was robbed blind by the Big Banks – we bailed them out; the perpetrators got big bonuses. AND they nickel and dime you daily still.
The Solution: Move your money!
As noted in my previous post, my focus this year is on creating positive change. Change in my own life. Encouraging YOU to make change in your own life. I believe that together, we can change the world – one little change at a time. I’m always heartened by the Margaret Mead quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
As my outrage over the big banks grew, my friend Liz Kirkham alerted me (via Facebook) to a site called Move Your Money. It suggested that the antidote to outrage and despair was action. Move your money, it said, move it out of the banks that are robbing us and to a credit union or a locally owned bank. That sounded a bit daunting to me at first – I’m an electronic type of gal – so I had all sorts of bank-related things automated. Eesh! where to start?
No worries! They had thought of that and laid out 7 Simple Steps to Move your Checking Account. Oh! That was easy. But where should I move it? Ah, they have that covered too with the Find a Bank/Credit Union page – just put in your zip code.
Plus the site is filled with information about WHY you should do this (don’t just take my word for it!) and other useful tools.
If you are on Facebook you might consider following not only Move Your Money, but also Bank Transfer Day – both have great updates that will reinforce your decision (and which you can share with friends and family).
Facebook – Move Your Money page
Facebook – Bank Transfer Day page
Oh – one of the things people ask me about is ATMs. I know I was a bit worried about that given as how my old bank (Chase) had an ATM about every 100 feet. I’ve been with my credit union several years now and this has NEVER been a problem. Here’s why. Credit Unions and small banks (at least where I live) have reciprocal agreements – so I can go to the community bank in my town and use their ATM. Or I can go to any other credit union in Illinois and use theirs. But what do I do in real life? When I need cash I use my debit card, ask for cash back and get it that way. Truly, I have not missed Chase’s zillion ATMs once.
I also wanted the ability to do electronic banking – use Quicken, set up auto payments and deposit, transfer funds electronically. Yep, they’ve got that. I could even do text banking if I wanted (I don’t). All the modern convenience. No robbery.
I’ll finish with an interesting anecdote. Every year at New Year’s time I review all my money and home administrative things. As part of that cleanup I decided to close out an account I had set up to help a family member (I was the treasurer – siblings and cousins contributed and I wrote the checks) since our aunt died last year. I had that money in a community bank – nothing wrong with that bank, but I didn’t need this account. The personal banker asked why I was closing it – I told him – then he asked if I’d consider opening an account for me there. I said “No, thank you. I like community banks – hate the big banks, but you guys are okay, but I prefer credit unions and that’s where my money is.” He asked me why and I said “they’re not for profit, locally owned, friendly and besides have great rates.” He asked which CU I was at and I told him BCU (for my NW suburban friends – http://www.bcu.org ). He then told me in a lowered voice “That’s where I bank, too!”
So you see – even the bankers know the right thing to do.
I promise you – this is a change you can make that WILL change the world. It’s WAY easier than you thought. This could be a GREAT January project for you! And hey – spread the word, okay? Send this post to your friends, or send the links in it. Let’s get this handled!