I’ve had a few bank accounts in my time and I used to hate them all. I felt like it was too easy to get screwed out of money. I felt like, if I made one tiny mistake, I would be charged ungodly fees that I couldn’t caught up with. I would always turn off the overdraft protection, but that didn’t stop the overdraft fees. I’m not bad with money, but I am human and I make mistakes. I remember once that I was ONE PENNY off and was charged $75. It was like pulling teeth to get the bank to waive the fee. Their online banking was a joke, because the money it reported was never correct. NEVER!
You had to micromanage your budget or risk being sunk into the banking dept generator.
And then I found Simple.com and I have never regretted it.
There are no hidden fees, overdraft fees, etc. The “safe to spend” amount has been the most accurate I have ever experienced. The moment you spend on the card (or rather the card is charged) it immediately subtracts that amount from the “safe to spend” total, even if the payment hasn’t processed yet. At a normal bank, you wouldn’t see that money disappear from your balance until the charge is processed. This way, the balance reflects the charge immediately.
Why does this matter? It prevents over spending. Let’s say that I have a regular bank. I have $30 in my account and pay for a pizza and the delivery tip on my card for $24. The payment doesn’t get processed today. I should only have $6 left in my account, but my balance shows $30. A few days later, a girl comes to my door selling girl scout cookies for $8 a box. I look at my account and see that I have $30, so I go ahead and buy a box. Really, I only had $6 dollars, so this puts me in a $2 overdraft. Tomorrow the pizza place finally processes the charge and my bank account shows $6. Later that day, I see that my balance is $6, so I use it to get some toilet paper which should bring me to zero. Really, I was overdraft $2, so now I’m going to be overdraft $6 more dollars ($8 in the hole). Later on, the girl scout cookies charge is processed and now I see that I’m $2 overdrawn and I was charged a $25 fee, so my balance shows $27 over. Oops. Then tomorrow the toilet paper charge processes for $6 and I get another $25 overdraft. Now my balance is – $58. This is a pretty tame example. Imagine this involves varying dollar amounts, more instances of spending, and varied times between processed charges and balance updates. It can get pretty crazy!
With Simple, when I pay for the $24 for pizza, my balance immediately reflects that I have $6 left in my account, Really, I have $30 in my account because the pizza place hasn’t processed the payment yet, but because Simple immediately reflects the charge, there’s no mistake. When the girl scout comes to my door, I don’t buy the $8 box of cookies. I can go get my $6 toilet paper and Simple will immediately show that I have a balance of zero. Even if I did manage to buy that $8 box of cookies, Simple doesn’t charge an overdraft fee! The next time you put money into the account, it’ll just pay that negative amount back.
They even calculate in tips for restaurants as a predictive measure. It doesn’t actually tip for you, it just subtracts the average tipping amount from the balance until the charge is processed and then readjusts the balance. Again it’s to help you budget your money more accurately. I like this feature because they essentially calculate the tip for me!
Now, this isn’t 100% fool proof. When I purchase things on Amazon, sometimes it doesn’t hit the account right away. It’s usually within an hour or that day, but some items are delayed. I haven’t figured out why yet, but I’m sure I will. Also, if you have charges that automatically hit your account, you have to plan for those. For example, my gym charges my account every other friday but I never know what time of day it’s going to hit. I just budget those charges in every other week. Same thing for pre-orders… if you pre-order something that comes out 6 months from now, you aren’t going to see the charge on the account until they actually run the card. That’s fair.
One draw back is that they don’t have joint accounts, but I’ve come to appreciate it. My husband, at the time, and I could transfer money to and from each others Simple accounts instantly at no cost. No cost, no holds, no hassle! I’ve come to appreciate having full control over my own money. Being able to move it back and forth as needed, makes up for the lack of joint accounts. As for a limit, if you both have a Simple account it’s up to $10,000 per day and $30,000 per month, $5,000 for non-Simple accounts.
What about withdrawal and daily limits? I’ll leave this right here…
Okay, at most ATM’s around here, it’s the standard fee, but Simple offers this page https://www.simple.com/atms where you can find the nearest free ATM!
Yes, you can direct deposit your pay check. While they don’t offer check books, you can arrange to have Simple mail a check off to pay your bills (about 3-5 business days) and there’s no fee!
You can even setup “Goals” which take a portion of money from your account and hide it from your “safe to spend” balance. It helps you save money. I don’t use that feature too much. I wish you could just create a “folder” and put money in it as you please, but it doesn’t quite work that way. Still it’s a great feature.
I called their support a couple of times to ask questions and I loved their support. There’s no IVR, no maze of a menu to navigate through, no porno wait music, and no hoops to jump through. Just friendly people who talk to you like a real person.
I’ve had this account since the beginning of September, just 3 months shy of a year, and I don’t ever want to go back to traditional banking again!
Go watch YouTube videos about Simple Banking:
A really charming story about Simple that I found on Youtube: