Financial Adulting 2.0 with KOHO

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    Prices are up, but your wage isn’t. And that makes financial adulting harder than ever. To make matters worse, several financial institutions raised fees despite record-breaking profits. My inner Lizzo is not here for it – why banks great ‘til they gotta be great?

    Ditch the kid’s table, switch to KOHO, and money-like-a-grown-up. Now, more than ever, we need to know our worth, set standards, and demand better from the people we trust with our hard-earned bacon. Here’s how to call the shots and level up your money with KOHO. 

    Stop giving your money and your power away

    Welcome to the land of free banking, where paying money to use your own money is cringier than the Jerry Springer Show. 

    The average Canadian pays about $15 a month for a chequing account with unlimited transactions. That works out to $180 a year! Financial adulting means firing the overpriced money nanny. 

    KOHO offers a free, full-service chequing and saving account with unlimited transactions and no hidden fees. Because it’s 2023 and about damn time. 

    But now we have to deal with credit card surcharge fees getting forced on consumers. It’s legal now! Thank goodness prepaid cards like KOHO don’t do that.

    Honestly, if you pay your groceries and transportation with a credit card you should switch to paying them with KOHO. It can save you up to 2% on those bills. You want songs on repeat, not credit card surcharges.

    Adulting Challenge: Since you’re already used to paying $15 a month, put that money in your KOHO savings account to start building an emergency fund. 

    Set higher financial standards

    Entrusting someone with your hard-earned cash is a big deal because it’s more than just money. It’s hours of your life you traded away to afford the bare necessities, and hopefully a little extra too. Higher prices represent more hours of your life required to afford the same standard of living. 

    At this point, a basic bank account isn’t going to cut it. KOHO gives you 24x more protection and relevant tools to manage things like a grown-ass person. 

    KOHO Easy is the no-fee plan you’ve always wanted. It has no minimum deposit requirement, so getting a higher rate of interest on your deposits is easy. 

    Prioritize financial self-care with priceless perks

    When’s the last time your debit card gave you anything but a swipe error? You can’t pour from an empty cup, or an empty bank account. 

    KOHO is no scrub. It’s on the Mastercard network, so you know it gets you the same VIP treatment as a Mastercard credit card. That means Priceless experiences without the cover charge – I mean surcharge. Whatever.

    As the price of everything climbs, it’s critical to recuperate some of your expenses by getting cash back. It’s literally a built-in discount on every purchase you make which, again, is like lowering your own rate of inflation.  

    Your KOHO account automatically comes with a Prepaid Mastercard. You can shop everywhere Mastercard is accepted and earn up to 6% cash back at a KOHO partner retailer. 

    The Easy plan is free. You get 1% cash back on groceries and transportation. For $4 a month, the Essential plan lets you earn 1% cash back on groceries, transportation, eating & drinking and 0.25% back on all other purchases. You also earn 4.5% interest on the first $500 of your balance and 2% on the rest.

    For $9 a month, you can upgrade to KOHO Extra and get a 2% cash back on groceries, transportation, eating and drinking – things that are among the hardest hit by inflation – as well as 0.5% on everything else. You also earn 4.5% interest on the first $1,000 of your balance and 3% after that. KOHO Extra unlocks other anti-inflation perks like a price matching feature to save money, no foreign transaction fees, and an on-demand personal finance coach. 

    For $19 a month, you get Everything, which is great if you plan on saving because you get a 4.5% interest rate on your entire balance. Everything also includes a 2% cash back on groceries, transportation, eating & drinking, and 0.5% on all other purchases.

    Adulting Challenge: Move your cash back deposits to your Vault where you aren’t tempted to spend it. It will also earn interest, which is free money that makes more free money, a critical part of financial adulting. 

    Make every purchase empowering

    The only thing worse than online dating is trying to save money right now. Inflation is like a deadbeat, stage-5 clinger who can’t take the hint. Luckily, you can filter your dollars like your DMs.  

    With KOHO’s in-app budgeting features, you can create savings goals and set up auto-transfers to your savings account. But the best tool by far is the Roundup feature that helps you save every single time you spend – with zero effort. 

    In the app, you can choose to Roundup every card purchase to the nearest $1, $2, $5, or $10. KOHO will automatically deposit that extra change directly into your account where it earns between 0.5% and 4.5% interest. 

    The Roundup feature is the easiest way to automate your savings and optimize spending to add value. Plus, there’s the added psychological benefit that forces you to spend with intention. 

    KOHO will push account balance notifications after every purchase. Since Roundup reduces your spending account balance faster, it forces you to be mindful of what’s left to spend and make better choices between wants and needs. That’s the brain-ninja effect it has on me anyways. 

    Avoid debt like your toxic ex

    Credit is quick and easy, but you’ll regret it in the morning. As the Bank of Canada increases interest rates to temper inflation, debt gets hella more expensive. Credit card companies are already increasing their interest rates. 

    It’s tempting to lean on credit to fill the gaps in your budget, but it’s NSFW- Not Safe For Wealth. People who carry a balance on their credit card spend an average of $750 a year on interest charges. Interest literally increases your personal rate of inflation by making your purchases even more expensive. That’s crazy, don’t do that! 

    KOHO gives you the convenience and perks of using a credit card, but with absolutely zero chance of going into debt and paying interest on your purchases. The KOHO Prepaid Mastercard is accepted everywhere Mastercard is accepted, like online and over the border. 

    It’s just like a debit card, only better because there’s no credit check, balance owing, or interest charges to worry about. The only money you can spend is the balance in your KOHO account, which is already your own money, not borrowed money from a credit card company.  

    Send your credit score to the gym 

    I don’t know about you, but I can’t pay for a new car or a whole-ass house in cash. That means some debt is a fact of life for most of us, and a fit credit score gets sexier interest rates.  

    A lower rate not only saves money on interest charges, it also means a lower monthly payment which puts less stress on your budget. 

    The Credit Builder program is an incredibly easy and low-cost way to start boosting your score without taking on any debt. For $10 a month, KOHO Easy will open a line of credit in your name and report the payment to the credit bureaus each month. Credit Building costs $7 if you subscribe to the Essential or Extra plans and $5 with Everything.

    Don’t worry, they don’t advance the funds to you so you don’t have to worry about resisting the urge to splurge. It also means you don’t have to pay any interest or submit to a credit check. As long as there is $5 to $10 in your spending account each month, KOHO takes care of the rest.  

    On average, KOHO customers who subscribed to the Credit Building program saw their credit score increase by 20 points within six months. And, just as important, the Credit Building program is significantly cheaper than a credit building loan or credit card from an alternative lender.

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”604aaa18e770040140f2203e” id=”144191″]

    You can prepare for future lending without killing the progress you’ve already made with subprime interest rates, an upfront security deposit, unnecessary debt, or breaking a sweat.

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    Heidi Unrau is a senior finance journalist at Hardbacon. She studied Economics at the University of Winnipeg, where she fell in love with all-things-finance. At 25, she kicked-off her financial career in retail banking as a teller. She quickly progressed to become a Credit Analyst and then Private Lender. This hands-on industry experience uniquely positions her to provide expert insight on loans, credit scores, credit cards, debt, and banking services. She has been featured in publications such as WealthRocket, Scary Mommy, Credello, and Plooto. When she's not chasing after her two little boys, you'll find her hiding in the car listening to the Freakonomics podcast, or binge-watching financial crime documentaries with a bowl of ice cream. Fun Fact: Heidi has lived in five different provinces across Canada and her blood type is coffee.