How to Adult: Avoiding Banking Misadventures

Every day, I see complaints from young adults, ie people like me, talking about how school never taught them everyday tasks like doing their taxes or opening a bank account. Well, I don’t know how to do that first thing yet either, but I think I can help you out with the second one. Here are a few tips on how to navigate your way around a bank on your own for the first time:

[Note: this is not an article about actual banking procedures (obviously, since I’m not a banker). It’s just a few tips about things I’ve learned the hard way while doing bank-related stuff. I don’t want you all to get yelled at, the way I have been. 💓]

Tip #1: Prepare.project-management-checklist

Call up the bank in advance and clear your doubts. Find out exactly which documents you need to bring for your purpose; usually, your bank passbook and at least 1 ID card issued by the Government of India are needed. Find out exactly what you need to do at the bank to complete your task: fill a form, write a letter? Do you need anyone else’s signature, like a co-account holder or for an attestation? This very morning, I had to come back empty-handed because of ONE missing signature. Knowing the answers will help you complete your job in the shortest possible amount of time.

Tip #2: Carry EVERYTHING.


Along with the required original documents, carry two photocopies of each. Ensure that they are either self attested, or, depending on your bank’s requirements, attested by gazetted officers or other approved officials. Forms occasionally need photos as well, so carry a couple of passport size photos. Make sure you have a pen, a gluestick and a stapler. Put it all in a clear file.

Tip #3: Don’t Get Overwhelmed.


When you reach the bank, don’t be afraid. It can be very overwhelming, with all the srs-adults™ rushing about without a glance. Approach people who are at the help desk. If the help desk is not clearly marked, approach the official closest to you and ask for directions. They will direct you. As I’ve discovered, there’s no hiding the fact that you have no idea what’s happening, and once you admit it, people actually tend to help you more.

Tip #4: Go Step by Step.


Banking procedures are notoriously long-drawn. Try not to get overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. Take it one step at a time. Don’t shy away from taking help at every step. You’re new and have every right to ask. They are there to help you. And better one question too many than one mistake too many.

Tip #5: Make Sure Your Documents Are Returned.


Once you’ve completed your task, sit down in a quiet spot and organize. Make sure you’ve collected everything: all the returned original documents and their xeroxes, plus any receipts you may have been given. Collect everything back and put it securely in your bag. This stuff, if lost, can be a LOT of trouble to get back, trust me.

Tip #6: Congratulations, you badass, you just successfully adulted!


Breathe. Pat yourself on the back. You just completed an adult task! Maybe have an ice cream. You deserve it.



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I’m taking part in Blogmas! For the uninitiated, Blogmas is that wonderful time of the year when a bloggers puts stuff on their beloved intraweb portal every day for the month of December, leading up to Christmas. This is the second day.

If you liked this guide, do share it with your friends. See you on Spiktinot tomorrow!


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