Today I hope to help some of you with your long distant memories of New Year’s resolutions, by discussing one of my savings tips – this is however hidden within a rant!
I’m going to focus on banking. High street branches receive a lot of negative publicity for closing. My issue with them is their opening hours. Do they not know I have a job I need to fit my banking around?
I don’t live that close to my nearest bank branch, but do walk past one on my way to work. This would be the ideal place for me to drop into and make a deposit, query or anything else. Well no, they don’t open until 10. By then I’m ploughing through my to-do list. So it makes sense to pop in on my way home. While they remain open until 6 the cashier desk closes at 5 – this means I have to go and use the deposit machines. But what if I have coins to put in?
I’ll let you into a secret, any coin under a 50p I take them out of my purse and store them away to collect up into a good chunk of change to make a deposit into the bank. Look after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves they say. Well, how can I look after these pennies when the bank isn’t open at a convenient time for me to drop them off. And to make matters worse, I was recently informed that you can’t deposit more than 10 bags at a time. I’ve never been in the position, but if I have to ration my trips to the bank to coincide with a return from a meeting this does not stand me in good stead for making one bag a time visits. I’m also not going to use one of the change converters as they take a percentage of my savings and I can count up to ten pounds.
I also had a rather curious case the other day. I wanted to pay a cheque in – yes my life is that retro. However, the amount in words hadn’t been written in, the numbers were there. I went over to a lady working in the bank and asked if I should take the cheque back and see if I can get them to fill it all in. I was told by her she thinks it should be okay but she needed to check with the branch manager as she wasn’t sure. He tells me there is no way the bank will accept it so my best bet is to try and write it in while mimicking their handwriting. I’m sorry are we advertising writing in your own amount. The lady in the bank oversaw me adding the detail to my cheque to make sure extra zeros weren’t added, but this doesn’t fill me with confidence. As cheques take a few days to clear I don’t know if I have got away with it – but I will make sure to check every cheque on arrival before now.
And for those of you who think I could make this trip on my lunch break. I can’t lunch is 30 minutes, it is 10 minutes away from the office, no way can you get in and out in 10 minutes as banks are always crowded at lunch time as every other office worker tries to fit life admin into their break, and food remains more of a priority.
I understand banks take the commercial decision to close branches, but could they consider flexible branches to allow for a greater amount of time outside the working week for me to pop in and sort my finances out, please.