We make New Year's Resolutions every year. Resolutions are meant to give us goals to improve our lives. This year resolve to stay positive! The best of us have incurred an overdraft fee, or more than one. It's stressful and frustrating and throws a person right off their budget. It's easy to stay positive by keeping these three practices in mind.
Keep a Register & Verify Your Balance
Technology gives us a lot of ways to monitor our bank accounts. Telephone banking and online banking are both efficient and provide easy access, but they should not completely replace your register. If carrying and keeping a register is a burden, save your receipts and use them to check off when items come out of your account. Having a record of these will help you when you are checking your available balance. Always check your available balance before making a purchase or transaction. Don’t assume because a payment hasn’t cleared that you have tons of extra money in your account. This could lead to you overdrawing your account, which will trigger fees, and a bad mood. Be sure that you take the bank’s available balance and subtract what you know has not cleared in order to know how much you really can spend. Check with your bank to see what types of text/email alerts they offer. You can often set one up to tell you when you have gone below a certain amount in your balance.
Verify Hold Periods
Regulation CC, Availability of Funds and Collection of Checks, governs when banks are required to make your deposited funds available to you. While under this regulation, all deposits can be subject to a minimum of a one business day hold, each institution may develop its own funds availability policy, as long as they do not hold funds for longer than the regulatory requirements allow. Ask your bank representative when your deposit will be available if you aren't sure. As a rule of thumb, it is a good idea to ensure that you have available funds before you set up payments or make purchases.
Explore Your Overdraft Protection Options
Overdraft Protection can work as a safety net. There are a lot of different options for overdraft protection; you should decide which is best for you. One example is an overdraft protection line of credit. Another example is linking your savings account to your checking account for overdraft protection. Check with your bank to see what options they offer and also to find out what fees, limitations or interest charges may be involved.
What are some of your resolutions? Have you stuck to them?