If you have a busy life filled with activity from dust to dawn, managing your checkbook is probably a chore on a long list of tasks that you dread. However, if you are not vigilant about monitoring your banking activity, you may wind up making costly errors and paying unnecessary fees. The following tips can help you keep a close eye on your finances so you can avoid problems with your bank account and spend more time doing things you enjoy.
Sign Up for Overdraft Protection and Designate a Backup Account
When you open up a new checking account, make sure that the institution offers overdraft protection for the checking plan you choose. The protection will be invaluable if you ever make a mistake in keeping track of your expenses and attempt to make a purchase that is worth more than what is in your checking account.
With overdraft protection, you can avoid bounced check fees and the embarrassment of a debit card denial when you are in the checkout line.
Furthermore, if you have a bill that absolutely cannot be late, such as your mortgage or car payment, overdraft protection can save you from being penalized with exorbitant late fees.
If you do not have overdraft protection, ask your bank if it can be added to your existing checking account.
Some banks also allow you to designate a backup account, such as your savings, if there are not enough funds in your checking account to cover a purchase when you are out shopping. Your savings account funds will automatically be transferred to cover the expense.
Use Personal Finance and Mobile Banking Apps
If you have smartphone, you can keep track of your bank accounts no matter where you are on the globe. All of your checking account activity will be at your fingertips via a money management or mobile banking app.
You can stop using paper-based solutions to track your financial activity. Each time you write a check or buy something, you can enter the activity into the money management app. You can also scan receipts from purchases.
There are numerous free and paid personal finance apps that can link directly to your checking account. In addition, you bank may also offer its own mobile banking app.
Some banking apps also enable you to deposit checks by scanning the document using your phone. So if a family member gives you a personal check for your birthday, you can deposit it on the spot using your smartphone.
Overall, these money management apps provide your with more control over your checking account and can save you time
Use Direct Deposit
If your employer offers you the option of direct deposit to your bank, sign up for the service if you do not like dealing with paper checks. You will not have to worry about getting to the bank on time to cover outstanding checks or waste time waiting in line to deposit your money.
With direct deposit, you will have access to cash from your paycheck right away on pay day. If you are enrolled in online banking or use a banking app, you can manage paying your bills or allocating your funds to other accounts before you even leave work on your payday.
In addition, some employers enable you to split your paycheck among more than one bank account. This will make it easier to stick to a tight budget and making sure you add to your savings account on a schedule.
Enroll in Auto Billing
If you frequently forget to pay bills on time, you should enroll in auto-billing so recurring expenses are automatically deducted from your account each month. Your bank can provide you with a list of companies that will accept pre-authorized payments via your checking account.
You can arrange for your utility bills, magazine subscriptions, cable and other expenses to be paid on a pre-determined schedule that you specify. Auto billing is also convenient if you travel a lot or go on an extended vacation out of the country. You will no longer have to worry about getting late notices and paying fees for being delinquent.
In addition, with auto billing you can stop spending money on stamps to send off bills.
If you would like to set up a checking account, then try visiting a site like titansbanking.com.