by Gray Graham
I know it is hard to believe but there are many Americans that don't have a single bank account. Banking is an institution that unfortunately has left many poor and disadvantaged Americans behind. This causes a lot of problems in their everyday lives.
It is hard to imagine living without a bank. You need a bank to buy your home, buy your car, and even buy your food. Without loans from banks you wouldn't have access to enough money to do most of the things in life. Even the wealthy need banks to help protect their money and give them access to their funds.
But for the poor banks are the devil. It was not that long ago that banks shunned the poor. If you did not have a lot of money then banks let it be known that they didn't really want to be bothered with you. High fees for basic transactions and the dreaded NSF fees harmed a lot of people. Recently banks have paid fines in the billions for crashing the economy and racist lending practices that targeted Afro and Latino Americans.
So why am I telling you that you need a bank account again? The simple truth of the matter is that you need a bank account to take full advantage of our economic system and participate at the highest level.
And when I say you need a bank account I am purposely using very simple terms. There are many different types of financial services accounts to meet your banking needs. A traditional bank account may not be necessary for you. A pre-paid debit card might be a better option for you. There are also credit union accounts and even online services like Paypal that will still allow you to fully participate in the economy.
The main reason you need a bank account is so that you can minimize fees that many companies charge you to do business. Those service fees add up over time and that is money that you do not have for savings.
Savings is probably the most important thing that the disadvantaged need to do to help lift them out of their current circumstances. When you save your money then you have the opportunity to increase the money that you have. The more money you have the more interest you will earn and that will help you throughout your life.
The most important thing you can do is prepare for your family's financial well being. It is often the most overlooked thing when people are poor and feel that they don't have enough money. While saving pennies will not get you rich overnight it will help you get closer to your goals and make you life much easier.
People have to keep in mind that a bank is a business. It is a very cold business. Probably one of the coldest. They exist to make money and it is their primary goal. You can not depend on a bank to look out for your best interests because that is not in their best interests.
It is your responsibility to learn the rules of banking and to do your research. If you do that then you will discover that you have many options to chose from for your banking needs and it will make your life a lot easier.