How To Keep Your Checking Account in Check
To keep your checking account in “check,” consider these tips below!
Avoid Bounced Checks
If you write a check for more than is in your account, the check will be rejected when it is cashed. It will be sent back to the person who deposited it and you will be charged for “bouncing.” The merchant you wrote it to will not only charge a returned check fee, but the law enables the merchant to charge you for up to three times the amount of the check. In addition, you may be subject to court proceedings and be required to take special classes on money management. One bad $12 check could end up costing you a lot of money!
Make sure you don’t write a check before you make a deposit, counting on the “float” time. With the electronic nature of banking, a check can clear the financial institution the same day you write it.
Be Careful To Not Overdraw
Many financial institutions will offer you an overdraft protection plan through your credit card or savings account. When you write a check for more than is in your account, the overdraft protection will kick in and the check will be covered.
Review Your Statements
Each month your financial institution will send you a statement detailing the activity in your account. This includes the checks you wrote, ATM withdrawals, deposits, debit card charges, fees and any other activity on your account during the month. It is important that you carefully review this statement to make sure it agrees with your records. Mistakes can be very costly!
Many financial institutions offer account access via the Internet or a mobile app. This service is usually free of charge, and is a convenient way to keep track of your transactions.
The ability to transfer funds, receive and pay bills, place a stop payment on a check, and downloadable financial management software are also commonly available online services.