If checking accounts, pension plans and cable TV are everyday items many consumers can no longer afford. Fees, entertainment and savings are nearly impossible when people are struggling to keep jobs and maintain housing. How can people afford basics without going broke?
Checking Accounts With No Fees
Checking accounts with no fees often require maintaining a minimum balance. If the balance sinks below the minimum, fees are charged. The problem is people who can’t maintain the minimum balance are unlikely to be able to afford the fees.
More people are using money orders to pay for bills. A postal money order from USPS costs a little over $1 plus the value of the money order itself. For those with few monthly bills, this can be an affordable alternative. Postal military money orders are significantly cheaper.
Consumers often prefer the convenience of a checking account. A simple online search will reveal banks offering free checking accounts. Currently free personal checking accounts are available at Chase and FirstBank.
Basic cable TV can cost upwards of $50 each month in certain areas. The cost of cable TV had many consumers ready to cancel. Recent promotions from Optimum, Verizon and Time Warner offer cable TV with internet and telephone service for a package price of about $100 per month. Certain terms and contracts may apply. Consumers should review each offer to find the best one for their personal and financial situation.
In days gone by, most employers set up pension plans for valued employees. Today retirement is a concern as fewer employers offer pension plans. Workers must establish their own pension fund to be able to face retirement.
One of the most obvious ways to gain access to pension plans is through a viable employer. A job change might be inevitable to ensure a comfortable retirement. MSN Money discussed several leading employers offering pension plans including Philip Morris and Phelps Dodge.
Self-employed workers can visit for free with a bank financial adviser. Consumers simply walk into a local branch to discuss retirement plans. Usually an appointment will be scheduled to discuss options for retirement savings. The advice is free and can help people plan for the future.