Thanks to technological advancements and a multi-year pandemic, many people have gotten familiar with self-service banking. Whether it’s through an online banking platform, a mobile app, or one of First Alliance Credit Union’s Advisor Supported Kiosks, people are starting to appreciate the efficiency and convenience of being able to do their banking directly.
However, self-service credit unions and banks don’t just provide you with a convenient way to manage your money. You can also use the features of self-service banking to take your finances to the next level.
Create a Digital Envelope Budget With Multiple Accounts
If you’ve ever tried to figure out the best way to stick to a budget, you may have heard about the envelope system. With this method of budgeting, you get a stack of envelopes and label each one with a budget category. You then get your next paycheck in cash, divide that cash among each envelope according to what you planned for in your budget, and use the money in each envelope to pay for its corresponding budget category.
While this is a good, practical way to stick to your budget, it’s also somewhat inconvenient only being able to pay with cash and not a debit card. Self-service banking, though, gives you an entirely new way to use the envelope system.
First, see if your bank or credit union will open up multiple checking or savings accounts for you. You’ll want as many new accounts as your have budget categories. Once you have the accounts opened, use your online banking platform to rename them with each of your budget categories. Finally, when you get your next paycheck, all you need to do is transfer the money you allotted for each of your budget categories to the corresponding bank account.
With this “digital envelope” method of budgeting, you can still use your debit card. All you have to do is transfer the money in the appropriate category to your debit card before you make each purchase. It’s a great way to make you think about what you’re buying and whether you have the money left in your budget to afford it. You can also log into your online bank account or use your mobile app to get an overview of how much each of your budget categories has left.
Do Your Banking in the Off Hours
While self-service credit unions and banks do make banking more efficient, let’s be honest—there will always be times that are busier than others, like during lunch hour or during rush hour.
If you’ve got better things to do with your time than wait in line, take advantage of all the transactions you can do yourself at a self-service financial institution and do your banking during the times where there are less people. For instance, you could swing by a First Alliance branch in Rochester, Byron or Stewartville and use our Kiosks to withdraw money in multiple denominations, cash a check or even transfer money between accounts. You can also drive to work earlier and swing by a Kiosk to do your banking—and if you’re at our Commerce Drive branch, you could also get a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich from Moka and Great Harvest Bread Company to make your morning commute that much better.
Save for Financial Goals
You might already know that some financial institutions, including First Alliance, will let you split your direct deposit into multiple accounts. While this is a great way to build up your savings, it’s also a great way to set aside money for financial goals ranging from buying a new appliance to a new house.
If you’ve made your goal a SMART goal and you know how much you’re going to regularly put aside each month to achieve that goal, submit a new direct deposit request to your employer that diverts the amount you’re putting aside for your financial goal to a separate account you’ve designated for your financial goal. Once you’ve done that, all you need to do sit back and let your financial goal account grow.
Revolutionize Your Banking at First Alliance Credit Union
Self-service credit unions and banks let you do your banking on your own terms. They also provide you with an opportunity to take your finances to the next level.
If you want to take advantage of everything self-service banking has to offer, become a First Alliance Credit Union member today. In addition to being able to use our cutting-edge Advisor Supported Kiosks, you can also do your banking from your own home using our online banking platform, or pretty much anywhere else with our mobile app.