Is it time to go bankless?
If you are of the opinion that the big banks have too tight a grip on the nation’s people – and their finances – then you are in excellent company.
Millions of people would prefer would prefer avoiding being taken to the cleaners every time they write a check or borrow a small amount of money, but the vast majority don’t realize they have any options.
After all, banking is linked into how we run as a society. In many cases, these days, not having a bank account means we can’t get paid, live in a house, or borrow a single cent. And the banks are well aware of this – which is why they charge fees, can offer little value in return, and get away with over a third of the population not trusting them – but still using them.
So, is it time to say goodbye to the big banks? And is it even possible? We’ve pulled together everything the average household needs to know – so read on to find out more.
Use a credit union
You can head here for details on why credit unions can be such a good idea, but in short, it’s because many of them are free to use.
The vast majority of banks actually charge you money, just so you can use them. Whether it’s monthly fees, extras such as insurance, or ATM charges for the pleasure of taking your own money out of a hole in the wall, it all adds up. Throw in the fact that many of the major banking giants invest your cash in slightly worrying industries – such as arms, fossil fuels, and many others – and it’s clear that taking the credit union route is a much better choice for many who want to make more responsible decisions.
There are several prepaid credit cards available on the market that only cost a dollar a month to run, and won’t charge you for loading or spending – and will save you plenty of money in charges when it comes to making payments. Look around and see what you can find – yes, you will still be using the banks, but the fees are small enough to consider it a win.
Sending cash payments, for example, will almost always incur a fee when you use a bank – with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, it’s free. Bear in mind that the market is still incredibly volatile, but things seem to be solidifying a little and even some forward-thinking retailers – especially online – are starting to see the attraction.
Finally, if you’re lucky enough to live in a city that has its own currency, why not start using it? New York has its ‘Hours’ money, while Berkshire in Massachusetts and Pittsboro in North Carolina have similar. These types of currency are democratically controlled, and using them helps bring back power to communities.