I had several checks to deposit today, so I made the five mile trek (one way) to our credit union. Since we now live in suburbia, we're no longer close to a branch office. I try to combine errands when possible. I do most of my banking online. But when I must spend $3 or $4 in gas just to go through the drive thru window, it's time to start thinking about switching banks.
Credit unions are member-supported institutions. They are supposed to offer easier loans and better terms to their members. We began using the credit union when my husband started teaching--at the time, they offered a service that would divide his 9-month paycheck evenly across the year. His pay schedule is yearly now, and God willing, we won't have any need for loans. I have about six other banks within a mile's reach. The only thing holding me back is the complicated system of automatic withdrawals for certain bills and the electronic paycheck deposit that took so long to set up in the first place. Will closer banking be worth the hassle of all that paperwork again?
I hope so. For now, I need to do my research--find a local bank with free checking and online bill pay, and start putting my gas money back into savings.