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SAVINGS Shop around for a bank that offers you free checking and waives ATM fees if you maintain a low minimum monthly balance in your checking account or in a combination of accounts This can save you hundreds of dollars a year You also need to sign up with a credit union to minimize your banking costs To find out if youre eligible to join one call 800-358-5710 and ask for the number of your states Credit Union League Dont put your money in a money market account just because it pays a slightly higher interest rate than a plain old savings account To avoid monthly maintenance fees you often have to keep more money in a money market account than you would in a savings account If youve been charged an outrageous fee for a bank service complain Being forceful but polite will often help you persuade the banks customer service rep to waive the charge You also need to resist buying mutual funds on which banks charge commissions Look into some of the low-cost mutual fund companies INFLATION Inflation can drastically reduce the purchasing power of the dollar over time If the company you work for has a retirement savings plan or open an individual retirement account IRA at a no-load mutual fund I would say join right now If the company you work for offers you a 401K put as much money in the 401K as your employer will match A 50-cent match for every dollar you put in is the same as earning a fifty percent return on investment Before you up and quit your job or you find a job that better suits you check and see if you have worked long enough to take all your 401K money with you when you decide to leave If that is not the case consider staying for a few more months because that could be the
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