I had a moment of enlightenment this Friday. Or well, enlightenment, I received a tip. I was listening to a Dutch podcast about money in the train. They mentioned a tip which made me realized I have spent 180 euros the past 5 years on something that could be free. I have to say, at first that really sucks. Yet, I can’t change the past anymore. But I can change today and share the tip with you as well!
Student Bank Account
It appears that there are special bank account for students! I never knew this. I had a bank account at ING when I was younger, that was free until I turned 18. That I knew, when you are underaged you can get a bank account for free. I switched a few years later to Triodos, I’ll tell you why in a minute. I used to pay 3 euros each month for the service and since last month it has changed to 3,50 euro each month. This is just a regular bank account, I never knew there were free student bank accounts. Yes, I have paid 3 euros each month during my time at an University of Applied Sciences while I didn’t have to. 3 euros each month might not seem like a lot, but that is 180 euros in the last five years. That makes that 3 euros different, right?
So that’s my saving tip for you if you’re a student: switch to a free student account as long as you’re in college! Of course this tip is only for students, but hey, if you didn’t know I just saved you 144 euros (3eurox12monthsx4years). Or more, if you study longer than 4 years like me. I will terminate my bank account at Triodos because they don’t offer a student bank account. However, ASN does offer free student account and so I will transfer to that bank. And just like that I have still saved myself 63 euros in 10 minutes (63=3,50eurosx18months) because I will be studying for the coming 18 months. Easy, right?
Now, why did I switch from ING to Triodos back when I was 18? I’ve written a post about that which you can read here. Yet, I’d like to tell you again here. It’s because Triodos is a sustainable bank. A really easy way of living more sustainable is changing your bank. This way you make sure that your money is invested sustainable. Because that’s what banks do with your money, they invest it. And it doesn’t matter how much money you have, every penny counts. Every penny that is not invested into slavery, weapons or fossil fuels. Yes, that’s what ‘regular’ banks invest in, because it makes the most money. Same goes for your pension. You might invest in weapons without even knowing.
Since I want to live sustainable, I switched to Triodos. Because that’s a sustainable bank. But there’s another one! ASN. Mind you, these are the only two sustainable banks in The Netherlands. So, as fancy as a commercial from ING or SNS might be, it’s greenwashing. Because they do invest in dirty practices. At this website you can check on your bank per subject. The switch is so easy, it takes 10 minutes of your time and you make a massive difference (way more than separating your waste or showering less).
Sustainability and money
Now you might think, what is this Romee? A blog about money? I thought this blog was about an eco-positive lifestyle? Yes, that’s true. But recently I’ve come to a new insight about that. I think money can be a really important part of an eco-positive lifestyle. And then in particular financial independence, or FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early). I think an eco-positive lifestyle is also about happiness and freedom. Freedom to do whatever you want on a daily basis. Most of us don’t have that choice, we have to work to pay our bills. FIRE is an approach to be, well, financially independent and have the freedom to do whatever you want every day. And that’s why I chose to write more about this subject the coming time, because I personally want to be FIRE. And saving money is a big part of this. That’s why I share this tip today. But it’s convenient for anyone, saving money is always nice haha!
Do you have a student bank account?