In this digital world the art of balancing a checkbook has gone by the way of the dodo bird. Only a small sliver of our population still takes out their checkbook to manually record money that goes in or out of their account. Instead, today we have become conditioned to use and trust our online account tallies.
This is a useful and beneficial tool that is provided to so many online bank or credit card customers. We stress it is still important to use your own checks and balancing system in addition to what the screen shows. It is a good practice to look at your online transactions on a routine basis, we suggest at least weekly. This may mean keeping receipts from dining out or various purchases for the length of time between your account checkups. Verifying the math of your online banking tool may seem counterintuitive because we all recognize that computers are quicker and more efficient in calculations than human can be. Yet a typo in your online checkbook or a wrong transaction can still happen, and account balances can reflect an incorrect transaction or dollar figure.
This is a procedure that should also be followed for your credit card purchases and/or refunds. Merchants and credit card companies make mistakes from time to time. We believe “better safe than sorry” is a powerful mantra for such an important component of our daily activities. Therefore take the time to double check your saved receipts against the online statements.
When necessary, banks and credit card companies can alter their practices as well. Our solid financial partners can modify charges or account minimums as part of their practices, or even increase the APR Percentage. Understanding the ins and outs of the accounts we have opened is crucial. It has become more of a general practice where banks now require minimum account balances or a certain amount of money transactions inside a bank account before a monthly fee is charged. This banking activity has become a product of our financial environment. With low yields in the world, banks are looking for ways to be productive and make money. An example of this would be a bank account that requires an account holder to have at least $2,000 in their checking account at all times, or else they will incur a $10 monthly charge. Now this scenario is fictitious, but the idea behind it is real.
At the end of the day, we all should know the value of our accounts. We are an active population that has grown accustomed to fast paced lives and financial transactions. Although realistically you cannot keep up with every purchase or debit that happens as it happens, establishing a way to review our financial movements will help. After all great minds say the key to life is finding a balance, we all might as well jumpstart that with our online accounts!