If you’re like most people, you probably think managing a checking account is difficult. But it doesn’t have to be! In this article, we will discuss some simple ways that you can manage your checking account and keep track of your finances. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been using checking accounts for years, these tips will help make the process easier for you.
The professionals at Citadel Credit Union say that if you have opened a checking account, there are a few simple rules you should follow to make sure you don’t spend more money than you have.
1. Keep Track of Your Transaction Records
It is important to keep track of your transaction records when managing a checking account. This information can help you keep track of your spending, monitor your account activity, and identify any fraudulent activity.
There are several ways to keep track of your transaction records, including online banking, mobile banking, and paper statements. Online and mobile banking allow you to view your account activity in real-time, making it easy to spot any suspicious activity. Paper statements can also be helpful, as you can easily review all of your transactions for a given period of time.
No matter which method you choose, it is important to regularly review your transaction records to ensure that your account is safe and secure.
2. Balance Your Checking Account Often
Managing a checking account can be a challenge, but it is important to keep a close eye on your balance. This may seem like a tedious task, but it is actually fairly easy to do.
All you need is a copy of your most recent bank statement and a pencil. Simply add up all of the deposits that have been made since the last statement, and then subtract all of the withdrawals. The resulting number should match the balance on your bank statement. If it does not, then you will need to determine where the discrepancy occurred.
Balancing your checking account often will help you to avoid any unwanted fees or charges, and will also give you a better understanding of your spending habits.
3. Protect Your Checking Account Information
Your checking account is one of the most important financial tools you have at your disposal. It’s used to pay bills, manage expenses, and ultimately help you maintain a healthy financial life. However, your checking account is also vulnerable to theft and fraud. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to protect your account information.
First, be sure to choose a strong password for your online banking portal. A mix of letters, numbers and special characters is best. Second, never write down your password or account number in a place where it could be easily found by someone else. Third, be sure of the identity of anyone who requests your account information before you provide it. If you’re unsure, contact your bank or credit union directly.
By following these simple tips, you can help keep your checking account safe from theft and fraud.
4. Create a Cash Reserve in Your Checking Account
A cash reserve is an important part of any financial plan. It acts as a cushion against unexpected expenses, and can help you weather a financial emergency. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for how much cash you should keep in your checking account, a good rule of thumb is to keep enough to cover three to six months’ worth of living expenses.
This may seem like a lot of money, but remember that a cash reserve is not the same as an emergency fund. An emergency fund is used to cover unexpected expenses, such as a job loss or medical bills. A cash reserve, on the other hand, is used to cover everyday living expenses in the event that your income is interrupted.
While it may take some time to build up your cash reserve, it’s important to start sooner rather than later. The best way to do this is to set aside a fixed amount of money each month. If you’re not sure how much you can afford to save, start with a small amount and increase it gradually over time. Remember, your goal is to build up your cash reserve so that it can act as a buffer against unforeseen circumstances.
By taking the time to create a cash reserve now, you’ll be better prepared financially for whatever life throws your way.
5. Be Aware of Your Account’s Funds Available
Most checking accounts have some form of funds availability policy, which outlines when deposited funds will be available for withdrawal. Depending on the bank, this may be immediately, within one business day, or after a certain number of days.
It’s important to be aware of your bank’s policy so you can plan accordingly. For example, if you deposit a check on Monday but your bank doesn’t release the funds until Wednesday, you won’t be able to access them until then. This can impact your ability to pay bills or make other withdrawals.
If you’re not sure of your bank’s policy, ask a teller or customer service representative. They’ll be able to tell you when your deposited funds will become available.
If you want to be successful with your checking account, it’s important to follow some simple rules. Make sure you keep track of all your transactions, balance your account often, protect your account information, create a cash reserve, and understand fund availability. Following these guidelines will help you avoid costly mistakes and stay on top of your finances.
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This article is intended for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only and should not be construed as advice, guidance or counsel. It is provided without warranty of any kind.