How to manage your checking account
When’s the last time you considered how to manage your checking account? If it’s been a while, you could be missing out on time and money-saving features. Consider managing your account with these tips:
If possible, set up a direct deposit with your employer so your paycheck lands right in your checking account and is ready to go. Also consider automatic transfers from checking to savings, which can help you save for important goals without having to remember each month or paycheck. You can also set up bill pay so your monthly bills are paid from your account automatically.
Know your balance
Knowing how much money you have in your checking account will make it easier to plan for upcoming bills, avoid fees, and better monitor your budget and spending. Check your balance and manage your account by logging into your account online or visiting an ATM. Keeping close tabs on your balance is also a way to protect your account. An unsuspected drop in your balance or suspicious activity could be an indication of fraud.
Explore the mobile app
Get familiar with your bank’s mobile app. In addition to letting you check your balance while you’re on the go, the mobile app can help you manage your checking account by letting you deposit checks, review account activity, and pay bills.
Be aware of fees
Some banks charge fees for overdrafting your account, ordering checks, sending wires, and stopping payments. In addition to these one-time fees, some checking accounts come with a monthly maintenance fee. If your account has such a fee, make sure there is value in what you are paying to maintain your account.
Tracking your money could be more difficult and time consuming if you’re managing accounts at too many banks. You’ll have to remember login information for multiple accounts, keep track of different balances, and remember which account you use for which bills. Plus, it might be easier to avoid potential fees for just one account.
As you’re considering how to manage your checking account, think through your current process and what you could be doing differently. Whether you must change old habits, close accounts, or open a new one, you can create a system that works for you and your finances.
Mary Kate Mumper is manager of F&M Trust’s community offices in Hustontown and McConnellsburg.
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