Let’s talk about the assumptions with banking. as we know it.
We are all taught, perhaps in grade school or high school, or by our parents, to open a bank account and put our money in it. We are told when we make money from doing chores or working jobs to put it in the bank. We deposit paychecks when we get our first job working for a business.
What do we expect when we put our money into a bank account?
Checking: We expect to get a shiny debit card (or a checkbook, how 20th century) and be able to use it to pay people for things or to get cash. What else do we expect? Do we expect to be able to get all of our money out? For the most part that is true, though in some countries, not so true. Google what’s happening in Europe (Greece) right now. Oh and by the way, if you have lots of money in one those accounts and walk up to a teller and asked to get $10,000 you’re going to have to fill out paperwork, you will have to answer questions about why you want it, and they might not have the cash laying around and ask you come later. So what kind of guarantee is that? Not much.
Savings: With a regular savings account do you expect it to get it out whenever you want? Answer is yes. Do we expect that the money that we withdraw from our savings account to continue to earn interest? No. But why not? Maybe you never thought about it before. What about if we put our money into a Certificate of Deposit (CD)? Do you expect to be able to take out our money anytime you want? The answer is no. You can’t. Well, maybe. Perhaps there are some cases in which you might be able to get your money out but any or all of the interest you’d expect to earn would be gone.
Loans: So you have a checking account, a savings account perhaps a CD. Do you expect to be able to get a loan at any time? Or for at least the amount of money that you have deposited in the bank? The answer to both is “No”. It doesn’t matter how much of your money they have. You have to fill out forms. You have to go talk to someone behind a desk. You have to provide them with documentation, of your income, utilities bill, maybe even your tax return. Nice huh? If you get a loan (whew), can you control the amounts you pay back, when you pay it back and maybe skip a few payments? OF COURSE NOT! Right?
So why use conventional banking with little or no expectations of financial service. Of financial flexibility. It seems they have all of the flexibility and all of the control. Why are you doing that?
Because you, me and like most everyone else, we were never taught that there is an alternative: privatized and personal banking. It’s real, it works. Expect more.