Saving Isn't Spooky!

October 30, 2020

BOO!  CASH the Mascot here at the end of this Halloween season!  I want to share a few of my scary moments with my finances today, and offer some help and comfort if you have ever experienced anything similar!  Finances can become a real burden on a person or family, and really can be extremely scary if not handled properly or if neglected.

If you’re anything like me, when you watch a scary Halloween movie you close your eyes and look away from the scary parts.  Many of us do the same things with our finances!  We shy away from the scary parts because they are hard to look at and realize.  But it is so important to look at those ‘scary scenes’ in our financial life and tackle them instead of running into a dark forest alone and scared... LOL! So let’s get started!


Something that is truly scary is when you overdraw your account - meaning, you spend more money than you have.  That will get your heart racing and your blood rushing just like a scary movie will!  Luckily, there are some easy ways to overcome this and to avoid this happenstance all together.

If you have an account with us here at Guaranty Bank & Trust, you most likely automatically have the Standard Overdraft Protection we offer, which means that the bank will cover overdrafts on checks, automatic bill payments, and transactions using your debit card (if you opted-in to or requested this additional service).  However, be wary as the bank will generally only cover up to $300.00 of your overdrafts, and there is an overdraft fee charged to your account for each transaction. SCARY and SPOOKY!! Declined transactions are no fun for all parties involved, so what are some other options we could explore to avoid these scary ordeals?  The first tip, and the most important in my opinion, is to always check your bank accounts and know exactly how much money you have in each account.  If you are diligent about checking your account balances, knowing the amounts of cash flowing in and out of the account, and balancing your account, it is nearly impossible to overdraft an account because if you don’t have the funds to make a certain purchase, YOU KNOW IT!  Therefore, you wouldn’t put yourself into that daunting situation in the first place.

However, let’s say, for argument's sake, that there is an emergency and you absolutely have to overdraft your account in this situation.  This is where our overdraft transfer option could really be your saving grace since it can be less expensive than our standard overdraft fee[1].  When you sign up for Overdraft Transfer Protection, you are signing up to link an account to your checking account, and we’ll use available funds in that linked account to cover your transactions if there’s not enough money in the checking account to cover them. This feature can really help ease those stress-reducing situations!


Okay, so we’re just going to fast forward to the end of the horror movie where the bad guy is chasing the pretty girl and your heart rate is racing because you know it’s about to get even creepier.  Did you know that around 61% of Americans do not have enough savings to cover a $1,000 emergency… that figure is not only scary; it's staggering.  There are ways we can help improve this number though if you fall into this category!  The first is one we have already discussed in the previous sections, which is always knowing how much money you have in your accounts, and being diligent with the money you spend and the money you earn - knowing when and how much money flows in and out.  This diligence makes it much easier to save because you can decide one month to forgo your cup of coffee in the morning and put that $3-$5 in a savings account each day.  Small, disciplined actions like the aforementioned really can make a difference in your long-term savings goals!  But let’s say you’re like me and are horrendous at saving money.  We have a tool that automatically saves money for you when you spend money.  YES, you read that correctly.  You don’t have to lift a finger; just continue spending money and our Cash Roundup tool will automatically round up your transactions to the nearest dollar and will put that amount into your savings account.  So for example, you go to the coffee shop in the morning and get a $3.25 cup of coffee.  Your card will be debited $3.25, then the Cash Roundup tool will round up to $4.00 and transfer that $0.75 cents difference into your savings account at the end of the day without you having to do anything!  It’s quite something.  Learn More

Another frightening financial fact that most people don’t realize, is that only 25% of Americans have a financial plan.  This is truly a scary statistic.  Having a financial plan helps people in so many ways, no matter your current financial situation.  It is imperative to know how much money you spend in relation to the amount of money you make because then you are able to realize when it is okay to treat yourself and when you need to cut back.  Having a written financial plan for how much money you would like to save by a certain age can also help you stay focused and determined towards your goal, rather than just hoping to save and not committing to anything serious.  Having a plan really will save you a lot of time, money, and stress in the long run!

I hope you found these frightening facts and stories insightful during this Halloween season, and I hope to have helped you gain some insight not only into how scary finances can be but how easy it is to avoid these financial horror stories altogether!  As always, you have bankers here at Guaranty Bank & Trust who will assist you every step of the way in your financial life.  We are here to help turn your scary financial stories into happy endings and to help you grow your financial bearings throughout your lifetime!

[1] As of 10/30/20, this fee is $5.00 per transfer and is subject to change.

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