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Back to the Financial Basics: Banking Tips

In light of COVID-19 pandemic impacts, last week I shared some ‘Back to Basics’ tips on ways to cut costs for those whose income has been affected. This week I’m sharing banking tips as CommunityAmerica branch lobbies start reopening. These tips are relevant all the time, but particularly as we approach a new normal in the community.

Embrace Digital

There’s a silver lining to every circumstance, and one of them I’ve identified in today’s world is how many have embraced digital banking during the pandemic. From cashing checks through mobile check deposit, to making transfers online, many are conducting financial transactions from the palm of their hand for the first time. My advice? You may be missing an available convenience you simply haven’t used before because it wasn’t part of your routine. Check your financial institution’s website for a digital checkup to see if you’re taking full advantage of all that’s available to you online.

When a Deeper Conversation May be Helpful

Although a lot can now be done right from your mobile phone or by calling in, we do love seeing our members in the branches. I know many financial institution employees have missed seeing their valued customers, too. The reopening of branch lobbies is happening in phases and with many safety precautions. Even before all this happened I was often asked, when is the best time to visit a branch and talk with someone in person? The answer is many people benefit from deeper conversations around loans, account options, or even understanding things like rate changes. And, your financial institution will undoubtedly be there to discuss anything you may need. Although right now there are additional considerations involved with choosing to visit a store or financial institution, this may help you decide when a visit is in order. 

Monitor your Accounts

I’ve share this before on the blog and I can’t say it enough. Get into the habit of checking your accounts frequently and validating your charges. Not only does this help you stay within your budget, but it also ensures you catch any fraudulent charges and can address them quickly. Unfortunately, there are many scams going on right now preying on COVID-19 fears (here are some tips on how to protect against COVID-19 scams). Although fraud departments are always on the lookout for suspicious activity, frequent monitoring of your accounts is one of the easiest ways you can protect yourself financially. 

As we approach our new normal in the community, these banking tips will assist you with your ongoing financials now and always.

Kat’s Money Corner is posted in the Kansas City Star every week. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, follow us on Twitter @CommunityAmerCU.

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