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The Internet Transformed Banking & Gave Us Options!

by J. Money on Thursday, October 8, 2009

i heart internetWe’re all used to online savings accounts and banking now, but remember what it was like pre-internet? When we had to literally walk INTO a bank to get anything done? Or when we had to fill out 15 pages of paperwork and show 13 ID’s just to create an account?

Well the times have changed my friends, and today we go back down memory lane to remind ourselves how grateful we should be for all this new technology! It’s added a lot more distraction to our lives, but it’s also done wonders for our financial management. Do you know how much FASTER we can do things now? Here’s a list of all the differences I could come up with this morning, check it out:

Banking: Before the Internet

ING, Emigrant Direct, they were mere embryos waiting to come out and play. If you wanted your bank accounts, you had to roll up to a building and get them. Remember how UNTRUSTING people were even when the internet did come around? Trying to get people to enter their socials or xfer money online was like pulling teeth. Before the internet, we had a whole other way of doing our banking:

  • You had to walk into physical stores to open/close bank accounts.
  • You had to walk into physical stores to deposit checks.
  • You might have been lucky enough to have automatic paychecks deposited, but if not then it was time to make yet another trip.
  • And my favorite (by which I mean it makes me want to cry): You had to wait for statements in the mail to see how much damage you’ve caused on your credit cards! Something tells me this only encouraged bad spending habits as you could never tell how well you were doing until after that statement came in the mail. Bleh.

Bill Paying: Before the internet

You needed 3 main things before the internet: checks, stamps, and good handwriting (you mess up a check and it was the end of the world). We still use these in some fashion or another, like for those who refuse to live in the 21st century, but for the most part they’re archaic methods. Back in the day:

  • You had to write a check to pay the bills, no online bill pay.
  • Attach those weird “payment coupons” along with that month’s payment (for mortgages, car loans, etc – remember that?)
  • You spent a lot more on stamps
  • You allotted much more time for delivery – which probably was a good thing!
  • Balance your checkbook (you still have to now, but not as much)

Budgeting/Money Management B.I.

No Mint, Yodlee, Wesabe, Google Docs, or Budgets Are Sexy :( We either used pen & paper (or, pencil I should say for all those mistakes!) or we booted up our computer and opened up Excel. Which, I might add, still does the trick just fine. For most people though, having your accounts pinged every day and seeing all your gritty details on a single page has done wonders. The fact that we can now see our savings, checkings, credit cards, mortgages, utilities, etc, etc on one digital page is unbelievable. I’d go as far as listing it in the Top 10 Best Uses of the Internet!

Stock Trading: Before Internet

Do you have a broker? You better. There weren’t no Zeccos, E*Trades, or Scott Trades, or “Enter your name here”Trades. You had to ring your financial adviser or place a call to your long lost cousin in NYC to make it happen. And doing your research before you picked your stocks? Hah! I couldn’t tell you what, exactly, you needed to do back then, but I can only imagine the pain you’d be in.

And those are just a few of the things that come to mind right now. I was only 15 or so when the internet first made it’s appearance @ our house (kinda like my puberty), so if I’ve missed anything big or small, drop us a note! Regarding money, that is. We all know what porn and twitter has done to the landscape ;)


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