Tips To Manage Your Checking Account And Save Money
The banking industry has undergone numerous changes over the years making it important for consumers to stay abreast of changes to manage their accounts well.
The consequences of making mistakes while managing your checking account can not only be embarrassing in the case of returned checks but also very costly.
Banks have been criticized for charging excessive penalty fees as well as failing to conspicuously disclose important information for various accounts. Wasting money on fees and penalties is not necessary and can be avoided by practicing the following tips.
- Find the right bank. Not all banks are created equal. Each institution has unique accounts, terms and policies making some better than others. Take the time to compare banks – both local branches and virtual banks which operate online. Understand your own banking needs and spending habits to find a bank and account that is best suited for your personal habits.
- Play by the rules. Before you open an account, carefully read the terms and conditions as well as individual policies to ensure you know how to manage your account. By becoming familiar with these rules you are in a better position to actually manage your account accordingly. Just because the banks don’t always draw attention to their policies, it is your responsibility to seek out this information and follow the rules to avoid mistakes which can lead to fees and loss of money that could be used elsewhere in your budget. Specifically you should understand policies regarding how long your bank will hold deposits, how your bank handles an overdrawn account and what protection is offered in the event of fraudulent use of your account.
- Track all transactions. The key to managing your checking account is simply paying attention and tracking all transactions. This may become increasingly difficult in an era where consumers frequently use debit cards for day-to-day transactions as well as electronic deposits and payments. It is imperative that each and every check, debit card purchase, electronic payment, automatic payment and deposit is logged in your check register.
- Take advantage of online features. Most banks today offer customers the option of managing their account online. This can include online bill pay, transferring money between various accounts or simply logging on to balance your check book. The advantage of routinely checking your account online is the opportunity to spot and in some cases correct errors before they result in an overdrawn account.
- Money management tools. Another benefit offered by technology is the ability to sign up for free money management tools via the Internet. There are dozens of websites that help consumers create a budget, track spending and many even link to your bank account and other accounts to automatically update financial information. This can be very useful for people who juggle several credit card, savings, investment and other accounts by providing a “one stop shop” to manage their accounts.
More consumers are paying attention to their personal finances and the need to carefully manage various accounts to save money. Debt reduction, building savings and establishing long term financial security begins with making the best use of each and every dollar available. Checking accounts are not a new concept however the way in which you manage your checking account has certainly changed from just a few years ago.
Advances in technology not only make it easier to manage your account but also easier for mistakes to be made by both consumers and banking institutions. Avoid paying costly fees and penalties and protect your hard earned cash by implementing these tips to manage your account with ease.