Monthly Archives: July 2011

It’s Tough To Change Banks

Who thinks about how deeply embedded you are in one bank until you have to change to a new one?

After 28 years at Wilmington Trust, we are moving on.  Why?  M&T Bank bought this fine Delaware institution and the changes are rolling in.  Yesterday I received a book (really, a book) on what is going to happen when they make the merger final.  Thousands of words and dollars were spent on this glossy page turner, but it was still confusing and complicated.  What was clear was this unwanted change was bringing with it new fees and less confidence, much less confidence.

So, we are forced to say good-by to a good friend and the great team in Greenville and take our chances with another locally owned financial institution, Sun East Federal Credit Union.

Started more than 60 years ago by Sun Oil employees, this credit union has grown conservatively and prospered.  Are there as many branches as M&T?  No.  Are there as many fees?  Definitely no.  Is it locally owned and personal?  Yes.  In fact, when we open our new accounts, we will be share holders, members of the credit union, not a number on a list of customers M&T is sucking into its very large maw.

But, back to the original thought, changing banks is not all that easy and our finances are pretty clear-cut.  We only have one small home equity loan.  We will have to get a coupon book, set up a new loan at Sun East and move that over.  We have direct deposits from 3 places — all of them have to move.

And tracking down auto payments to long-standing vendors means combing through old statements to make sure no one gets missed.  Bill paying was easy this way but now we have everything from ADT to EZ Pass accounts to move from one financial institution to another. Debit cards close then open with new numbers.  Checks get shredded and new ones issued.

We will probably miss some bits and bobs that needed to be closed, transferred or updated.  We will surely get calls from some companies authorized to debit but unable to do so because the money is gone and so are we.  But making this change is worth it.  I don’t know Sun East at all but there is more trust level with this group than there is with M&T — the out-of-town bank that is taking over our familiar financial partner.  It is definitely time to move on!

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Filed under Budgeting, Home Ec on Acid, Saving Money

Dottie Domestic Considers The Toilet Paper

My granddaughter spent last week at our house.  She is 12 years old, small and beautiful…and she consumes toilet paper like a platoon of soldiers.  Suddenly, I understood why my Dad was so crazed about how fast we girls ran through his stockpile.

Dad had three daughters.  Each daughter had a daughter.  When we came to visit, Dad hid his toilet paper in the bottom of the clothes hamper in his bedroom.  Why?  Between the 6 of us, we could go through two rolls of toilet paper a day.

So what?

Dad was a depression baby.  And toilet paper was a luxury even though, back then, a roll might cost him a quarter.  If Dad were alive, today, he would probably stock the bathroom with leaves and lock up his toilet paper.

Buy toilet paper at the store and 8 rolls will cost you about $8.00.  Even if you buy it in bulk – 30 jumbo rolls will still cost you $26.00 – 100 times what it cost Dad.  And, have you noticed that the rolls are getting noticeably smaller but the price isn’t?

Bottom line, toilet paper is a pretty practical consideration!  So, how do you wrangle toilet paper to the ground, cut down on use and save some cash?  The old-fashioned way; you start counting sheets.

I know, sounds ridiculous but once I started counting, I realized that I was hauling on the toilet paper roll like I was pulling the cord to start my lawn mower.  Ten, twelve, sometimes fifteen sheets at a time rolled off.  I was ripping through rolls at the rate of three a week!

By counting sheets and limiting the number I use, I can make one roll of Scott toilet paper last about 8 days – saving trees, saving money and yes, I think bringing a huge smile to my Dad’s face.

And if you want to save even more money, I have two suggestions.  Check out Amazon’s Subscribe and Save – I love it.  You get 15% off the regular price and free home delivery.  Not ready for that, Google “coupons” for your favorite paper products company and start saving money and trees.

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Filed under Budgeting, Home Ec on Acid, Saving Money