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are there any good banks?

hi there,

seeing the zeitgeist addendum has made me want to transfer my money to a smaller bank. ideally, i’d like to keep everything out of the bank… but then there is no way to cash cheques… i was wondering if there are any banks that aren’t so “evil.”

i know there are a lot of people on this site with cool “alternate” lifestyles. would you mind sharing what you do with your money?

thoughts?

Comments

  • anyone? is money too personal?

  • Here’s a recent article about Vermont banks being stable since none here participated in any of that crazy, risky subprime lending:

    http://www.7dvt.com/2008wall-street-collapse-un…

  • ZoeZoe

    there are ethical banks out there. I live in Uk, and I used to bank with an eco bank that used it’s money to finance eco projects and eco house building. They were amazing! Just have to ask around I guess, must be similar things in USA.

  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    PIANISSIMA – You wrote:

    is money too personal?

    given all the conversation GR members had had about their poop and menstrual issues, not to forget Moth’s “The Rash On My Ass” thread which made me bust every time I read it, I can’t imagine anything is too personal here.

    I am no whizz with money. I hate it. It the most unimportant important thing I know of and I think it sucks. I don’t put much stock in it, and any stocks I had I got rid of 14 months ago when it became obvious something unusually insane was happening with the housing market.

    Given the attitude those in charge of financial institutions seem to have, who knows. I feel as uncertain as you do. What I decided to do was get an account at a credit union. They seem to be far less corporate and more accountable to their members, or at least mine does. They are insured by the federal government up to $100K (not under the FDIC) and maybe $250k pursuant to the bailout bill. Credit Unions aren’t as greedy as for-profit institutions so they don’t take those kind of risks.

    Bottom line: when the government announces that it is bankrupt, our money will be toilet paper.

  • Another scary financial reality is anyone with a 401K plan hoping to retire right now. Terrible!

  • I’m 22. I just accept the fact that I will never retire – and if I end up retiring, fine. Why retire anyway? Retirement seems like it would be so boring. Maybe if I don’t pollute my body, when I am old I will not have the want to sit around and do nothing.

  • thecavsman – I don’t know about anyone else here, but I sit in a cubicle 4 days a week. Retirement sounds like paradise to me: home gardening, hiking, running, doing yoga in my sunroom, making raw food, sleeping late, playing with my kitties, napping in the sun after a bike ride, reading, playing a few tunes, learning Italian…..I could go on and on :-)

    sorry don’t mean to hijack this thread

    Honestly, look into a Vermont based bank for security or a credit union which is another good idea as Meditating pointed out.

  • hm. thanks guys.

    meditating—haha. i guess you have a point about “too personal.” ;) forgive my naivete, but i’ve never heard of a credit union. can i cash cheques? that’s my main problem with taking everything out… i get paid with either cheques or direct deposit… straight to the bank. can you set that up through a credit union? and yeah, i’m well aware that money doesn’t really exist… but for the time being i’d like to make the best choice possible.

    zoe—oh cool. what should i look for/ask? is there a list?

    joyceH—that’s awesome about vermont. vermont seems like a pretty sane place. would you want to use a bank that didn’t have any branches near you though?

    thecavsman—i’m 24. not thinking about retirement yet. =) but, the whole “sitting around and doing nothing” vs. “working” is kind of a good example of how brainwashed we are by the economic system. why isn’t tending to yourself, the earth, having fun, and cultivating peace and awareness enough of a life? most work is created to uphold a human-manufactured reality. the entire stock market is a perfect example.

  • Actually I might consider a savings, money market or something similar in a Vermont bank. For personal day to day checking I’d try a local credit union closer to you. You are in CT? I would imagine most small New England banks should be safe.

  • thanks i’ll look into that. yep. i’m in CT. moving to CA though… that’s really when i want to transfer everything.

  • I agreew with cavesman I can’t see myself retiring. My parents are both retired and all they do is sit around and watch TV all day. And I have recently gotten a little glimpse of what it is like – I have been out of work for the last two years and I honestly feel like I am in a big rut. I see myself doing the same thing – ekk, I don’t want to end up like them!

    If you have lots of money, retirement seems like a nice free and easy thing. No worries but I think for most people it isn’t like that – there will be no Social Security left when I reach that age. I think what I would like is just more flexiblity to do what I want and to live the way I want.

    I agreee that I when you are sitting in a cube all week you think “I can’t wait to retire” (I used to do that to when I sat in a cube) but now with no job for a while I am really starting to get bored. I know it sounds weird. If I didn’t have to get a job for money, I would probably work part-time doing something I really like but unfortunatley that is not a reality for me.

    When I first got laided off, I was happy to take a break and sleep in (oh, how i love that!) and just rest but if you are not careful you can get lazy rut. Well, at least, I have been. I guess it depends on what sort of person you are too – I am one of those persons who really wants to have something productive to do and to me that means having a job where I do some good and doing something I am good at – I honestly get depressed if I don’t feel useful and have no new goals.

    Sorry I went off topic there..

    I was wondering that about banks too. Pianissima – California is full of large corporate banks. I really haven’t seen any small banks here but I haven’t really been looking. I have Bank of America right now. I had to switch banks when I moved out here because there wasn’t any Chase which I had before. Alot of small banks are being bought out by the larger banks. I actually liked Chase and I am having very good experience with Bank of America so I am not complaining. But good luck finding a smaller bank here. I am sure there have to be eco banks here if there are any anywhere in America.

    on a side note, I hope you have a job set up when you get here – the unemployment here is really bad right now and getting worse.

  • How about using more than one bank… in case one “goes”. Then you don’t have all your money in one place… even if FDIC…

    Yes! I heard credit unions are actually doing better.

    Interesting about Vermont. I was reading an article on National Geographic about a couple who moved there… and I really liked the state. Especially, when Home Depot moved to the capital of VT and in 3 years they closed stores because of poor sales… the locals were going to other local shops instead.

  • Hi, Good Question.

    I moved my money to a small credit union last year. My previous bank was selling my personal information and informed me that I had to “Opt Out” of the “program” to keep my info private. My present credit union is VERY stable. They send me their financials annually and provide information on their loan default rates, etc. Which are MUCH lower than a commercial bank.

    Be sure to sit down and talk to the Branch Manager about their mortgage exposure BEFORE you open an account. There are some really good ones out there.

  • Hi, Good Question.

    I moved my money to a small credit union last year. My previous bank was selling my personal information and informed me that I had to “Opt Out” of the “program” to keep my info private. My present credit union is VERY stable. They send me their financials annually and provide information on their loan default rates, etc. Which are MUCH lower than a commercial bank.

    Be sure to sit down and talk to the Branch Manager about their mortgage exposure BEFORE you open an account. There are some really good ones out there.

  • ZoeZoe

    pianissima, if you Google “ethical banking” see what comes up, or drop an email to ask these guys where they put their money www.earthfirst.com they’re exptremely ethical people ;)

  • Smaller, local banks aren’t as affected by the financial chaos. You’ll also get more personal service. I will forgive a lot for excellent service, whether it’s from a restaurant, a retailer, or a bank.

  • thanks. i’ve never really noticed “small banks” around where I live. now that i know they exist, maybe i’ll start seeing them. =)

    thanks zoe. will google. =)

  • thecavsman is not old enough to have been working very long. When I was in my early 20s, I didn’t think what life would be like when I was 30 or older. I must have just focused on being a good person and doing the right thing, not bad things to focus on.

    But when you get over 30 and certainly over 40 you yearn for the time to enjoy the good things in life.

    Finances: Don’t put your eggs in one basket. Don’t be greedy.

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