We get it. Moderation is for the folks back home. You graduated from university , migrated to an urban center, and landed an entry-level job with a corporation. Hell, you deserve to spend $800 on a couch. Still, as you live the dream--complete with its price tag of 45% of your paycheck going to rent--here are five ways that some minor forethought can scare up extra scratch while keeping your devil-may-care lifestyle intact.
STOP USING PRIVATELY OPERATED ATMS
, the money clip is quickly going the way of the rotary telephone, especially for people age 25-34. Why carry cash when there's a money-spitting robot on every corner? Still, the ultimate convenience is also the ultimate rip-off. A $1.50 fee on a $60 withdrawal? That's a 2.5% loss! For accessing your own money!
Solution: Don't use them. The end. Stick to your bank's no-fee ATMs, and always have cash on hand when needed. In what will be a recurring theme, planning ahead is always much cheaper than the alternative.
Savings: The average ATM fee is currently $1.75, and the average young urbanite uses an ATM 8 times a month. Cut your usage down to zero, and you can score an extra $170.
PUT EXTRA MONEY IN A HIGH INTEREST SAVINGS ACCOUNT
The checking accounts offering low or no interest are great for students to keep that extra $83 from the sorority bake sale, but come on! You're an adult now! In the real world, when someone asks to hold your money without offering anything in return, they should be mugging you, not accepting your paycheck deposit.
Solution:"You can't leave!" cries your checking account with its ubiquitous ATMS. (Remember those, from the paragraph above?) "It's so easy to get money out of me! Who is going to be there for you like that?" Well, most online savings accounts, which offer anywhere from 2.5 to 4% APY, that is. Despite not being attached to a "traditional" bank, they'll provide little to no loss of ATM access. Don't abandon that checking account completely, but any money you don't need on a regular, monthly basis should definitely be keep somewhere else.
Savings: If you put $2,500 in a 3.0% APY account, you just made an extra $75. Not much, but better than that big fat null set your checking account was producing. (Warning: Earnings only valid for those who can find the Internet, and thus void for much of the previous generation.)
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This article was written by a staff member of MainStreet.com.