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Proof that pennies matter

Proof that pennies matter

You hear it all the time: little things add up, don’t buy those daily lattes, save a little bit now to earn a lot later, etc. But I had to laugh a little at the concrete proof that showed up in my bank account the other day.

As I mentioned previously, I recently opened an Ameritrade account. What I didn’t describe was a part of the funding process. In order to set up the automatic withdrawals of $50 per month from my checking account, they had to make two small deposits to my account. This is pretty common, so I didn’t think anything of it. The deposits were for 11 cents and 18 cents. What cracked me up was that I noticed in the fine print that they would be taking the trial deposits back later. (Most companies don’t bother.) Sure enough, this showed up in my account a few days later:


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I’ve often wondered why more companies don’t do that, and until now I assumed that maybe they couldn’t. Maybe other companies just don’t want to be thought cheap. But the little things really do add up…

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  • When I opened a Zecco account, the two small trial deposits (total less than 50 cents) were taken back after the account was verified as well. I was quite surprised because, as you said, many institutions will just give them to you. I wonder if all the brokerages take back deposits and banks give them to you.

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