The last one is perhaps the most obvious feature of the bank that people do not take advantage of. A bank, being a financial intermediary, can actually help you save money efficiently. Heres how.
First, you are required to keep what is called a maintaining balance in your bank account. This means that even if you make deductions in your account, the bank requires you to save a bare minimum in order to continue enjoying their services. And yes, that translates to a forced saving on your part.
Another feature of bank saving is the fact that you are free to continuously add to your account whenever you can. Otherwise, your money will remain safe in your bank. Moreover, while its staying in the bank, you are actually earning interest rates on your money.
What are savings interest rates? These are payments made by the bank to you for leaving your money in the bank. By depositing your money in the bank, your bank utilizes a portion of it in its loan operations where it subsequently earns through interest and loan charges. In effect, the income they receive trickles down to you, their source of money. This savings interest rate is actually an effective incentive system. Why so? If you save more money in your bank account through your deposits and savings, you end up receiving a higher return on the savings interest rate than other people would.
Banks have a threshold amount for you to be able to participate in the banks long-term, higher yield savings schemes. Time-deposit accounts, mutual funds and the like require you to leave your money untouched for a longer period of time. In exchange for the banks use of your money for a longer period of time, the percentages of interest return are double those that you would get in a regular savings account. You can add increments of a certain amount in order to increase the capital you invest in your time-deposit account or mutual fund. An increased account obviously translates to bigger interest gains.
Talk to your local bank about their savings schemes. They offer various mechanisms to encourage us consumers to entrust their money to them. In a bank, your money is in a safe place, and it is growing while it stays there.