Interesting comment below (from a reader of this article) as to how she manages without a bank…

“Wikileaks Warns on Bank Of America: ‘Place Your Funds Somewhere Safer'”:


  1. December 19th, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    I have been using one of those check cashing services for five years. It seems to be an internet bank somewhere in cyber space.  You can buy a debit/credit card from one of their brick and mortar outlets or even a grocery store. ($2.99 to $9.99)  Activate the card and use it just like the big bank’s debit/credit card.  I have two cards.  One is designated for direct deposits and the other to pay bills, do online or store vender purchases, get cash or ATM withdrawals.

    No charge on the direct deposit card.  On the bill paying card, I pay a flat fee of $9.99 a month for unlimited use. What’s neat about the card is no overdraft fee’s.  If the money isn’t there they just don’t authorize the purchase or pay the bill, but they also don’t charge a fee because it didn’t go through.  The other thing, when my money is deposited to the one card, I go online (or use the phone) to transfer funds instantly to the bill paying card. Again no fees.

    I brought a card for my son as an emergency back up. It’s in his name in another state and if necessary I can transfer funds to his card too at no charge, instead of using Western Union and paying wire fees. The card remains active and there is no monthly fee if he keeps a balance on the card. The balance has been 76 cents for the last several months.

    Last month was the first significant change.  Originally I could go to an outlet and take all the direct deposit money out in cash if I wanted.  They now limit it to $300 cash withdrawals daily.  But I have the second card I can do the same after transferring money to it and can get $100 cash back with each purchase using debit purchase option with merchants. To me it’s been a win as it doesn’t seem I’m on anyone’s radar or picked up mainstream.

  2.  December 19th, 2010 at 7:31 pm


    The reason I have one card direct deposit use only is because it’s the “money” card and don’t want for any reason to have to cancel it. Having to change accounts is a you know what and can take months to get straighten out and in the mean time you may have no access to your money.  I never leave the house with that card, which is in a safe fireproof environment.

    They now also allow savings account on the same cards and credit charges can be disputed. I’ve seen where some of said these cards are bad for that reason.  The timeline I think is different, but that is why one must read the fine print. It cost me a few times to learn the ropes, but it’s been worth not being identified as a main street banking  customer.  My experience has been with Netspend, but there are others out there.

  3. (…)

    Might sound good except for:

    1.  $9.99 monthly fee (unlimited use) which is pretty high

    2.  Can only take out $300 cash a day

    The good part is you can still pay bills &/or shop online with it vs. going the old route of money orders, USMail, &/or paying in person, etc.


    The truth is nobody is really broke (cities, counties, states, feds) since the combined total of their 85,000 C.A.F.R.’s is approximately $100 TRILLION as of 2010.

    It’s all a big fat lie.  All they ever talk about are BUDGETS & DEFICITS (the red column), but they never tell you about the OTHER column, ie, ASSETS & INVESTMENTS (the black column).

    Google “COMPREHENSIVE ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT” (C.A.F.R.) & get an eyefull!

    Or call or visit the website or your city, county, state, etc., & look around the Financial section.  You may find copies there.  I did & they have a copy for every year.  The new one will be presented by the city-CFO to the City Council in January.

    Now you know why they keep spending $$ like there is no tomorrow! They have investments up the kazoo. 
    Definition from Wiki:
    Differences between General Budgets and the CAFR: 

    “The primary difference between a budget and the CAFR is that the Budget is a plan for the next period (often year) primarily showing where tax income is applied and the CAFR contains the results of the period (year) with PREVIOUS YEARS ACCUMULATIONS. The CAFR contains a section that provides a comparison of period budget AND ACTUAL. Additionally the CAFR gives a DETAILED SHOWING OF INVESTMENT ACCOUNTS by category reflecting balances derived over many years.”


    Even so, besides offering the convenience of internet bill paying, shopping, checking your account status online, etc., banks in general don’t offer much these days (no more interest on checking, & the savings interest is pennies, etc., so what do I need them for? (I keep asking myself, lol).



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