For most of us, there’s only one thing about checking account that we care about – whether there’s enough cash in it. You should be aware of various costly mistakes and avoid them. If you want to get the most bangs for your bucks, then you should do these:
- Make sure there’s enough money: Your balance should be at least slightly higher than what’s needed to cover your overall expenses. It is important that there’s enough money to fully cover your expenses, especially if you are subscribed to auto pay services and direct deposits. In this case, your checking account can be seen as a tool to manage your finances. If there’s not enough money in your checking account, it will dip into negatives and you’ll be slapped with overdraft charges. Any additional penalty, fee and charge will drag you further into the red. This may seem like a simple oversight, but your credit score can be affected. You need to make sure that the checking account is slightly higher than the monthly payments, so you will always have a positive balance. [
- Don’t keep too much money: Keeping more money than needed in the checking account can be a bad thing as well. It takes a balancing act to know how much money that you should put inside the checking account. If you want to maximize growth, it is a good idea to put your money in the right place. Checking accounts don’t guarantee enough growth and you will need to check somewhere else. By investing more, you should be able to gain more money in the long run. As an example, you should put most of your money in high yield savings account, instead of regular checking account.
- Use only in-network ATM’s, if possible: If you use a checking account, you need to make sure that the bank has plenty of in-network ATM’s in the area. If you choose out of network ATM’s, it is possible that you will be charged $3 for each transaction. You need to choose the right bank for the checking account, so you will be able to save a bundle in a long period of time.
- Choose free checking accounts: In some cases, you need to pay a fee just to set up a checking account. In other banks, you need to keep a sizable minimum balance, such as $1,000, in the checking account. The bank will charge you with a fee, when you don’t meet the minimum balance. Alternatively, you can open free checking accounts at credit union accounts. Many credit unions provide free checking account, which is a great offer.
- Check the balance before spending: You should always know how much money you have in the checking account and you should have at least a close estimate. It’s not a good idea to pull out the debit card if you are not sure how much you have in the checking account. Many banks allow their customers to access the account using mobile app and it’s a tool that can help you wisely manage your money.
- Check the transaction history: Many people ignore the transaction history and they don’t know whether their checking accounts have been deducted for specific payments. You may think that there’s still enough money and you continue to spend. Pending payments could spell disaster. You should make a list of all transactions and make sure that they are included in the history. As an example, gas stations, hotels and grocery stores may put a hold on your transactions until everything is clear. By evaluating your checking accounts often, you may also quickly spot all kinds of fraudulent activities.
- Subscribe to overdraft protection: Banks can charge their client up to $35 in overdraft fees and you should be mindful if your checking account is already low. You need to protect your checking account in a proper way.
- Don’t assume all charges are legit: Fraudulent charges happen and they happen quite often. You should check your accounts at least each week, to make sure that all charges are legit. Other than fraudulent charges, you may find that incorrect amount has been charged or you are still being charged for a cancelled subscription. These could happen due to clerical errors and can be fixed relatively quickly. You should do your due diligence and address these errors immediately to avoid wasting money.
- Link only to trustworthy retailers: It is already very common for people to purchase things online, particularly around the holidays. However, this increases the risk of security breach and your information can get stolen. It is important that you are being responsible with your money and you need to protect your banking information. In this case, you need to use common sense and buy items only from very popular retailers. Security problems can more likely happen to newer and smaller online shops that can’t afford to set up top notch security systems. It’s important to use your best judgment when you provide financial information online.
That’s some of the ways for you to checking account properly.