You've probably had a bank account for years, but you may not be taking all of the necessary steps to properly manage it. Neglecting to routinely balance your checking account or losing track of even one expense can lead to significant overdraft fees that could cost you hundreds of dollars over time. These simple steps will help you ensure that your bank account is always managed well.
1) Always be aware of your balance.
This is one of the most important things that you can do to keep your checking account up-to-date. Knowing your balance at any given moment will help you stay on budget and control your spending. While you don't need to look at your bank account every single day, you should still monitor your account on a weekly basis, at the very least. You can use your bank's website to log into your account online, or you can see your balance at an ATM. Good record keeping will also assist you in making sure that your balance is correct. When you write a check, use your debit card, or make a deposit, don't forget to log the transaction in your checkbook register or electronic software.
2) Understand the fee schedule.
Most bank accounts have fees associated with them for a variety of reasons. For example, some checking accounts require a monthly maintenance fee that will automatically be charged if your balance falls below a minimum balance. There may also be additional costs to use an ATM, order new checks, make wire transfers, or replace a lost debit card. Additionally, fees could be administered if you have insufficient funds in your account at the time that a check is cashed from your bank account. Having the list of fees for your specific type of bank account handy can save you from racking up costly fees that you aren't expecting.
3) Make sure that your bank account is secure.
Take the time to guarantee that your checking account is fully protected. An easy way to accomplish this is to enable two-factor authentication on your account, if possible. This will safeguard your account by requiring an extra step to verify the identity of anyone who accesses your account. Typically, a special code will be sent to you by text message to confirm that the right person is logging in to your bank account. You should also set up a strong password that is not easy to guess, and always avoid sharing your credentials with other people. If you ever notice suspicious activity on your account, contact your bank right away.
Properly maintaining your banking account will keep your money safe and allow you to build a financially sound future.