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Checking Your Money

April 27th, 2016 Posted in Financial News

shutterstock_188238824Knowing how to successfully manage a checking account and maintain a checkbook register is an important component of sound personal money management.  It allows you to establish a strong relationship with your financial institution and have access to other financial products.  The following tips will help you to stay organized and manage your checking account with ease.

 

  1. Create a spending plan: A spending plan, or budget, will help you organize your finances and maintain your checking account. Develop a plan that makes the best use of your money to be sure your dollars stretch to cover all your financial needs.

 

  1. Maintain your check register: Your check register is an important record of your financial transactions. Remember to record all account transactions in your register, including written checks, ATM withdrawals, online and telephone transfers, and deposits. If your check register is kept up to date, it will always provide you with your current balance.

 

  1. Be aware of float time: The period between when you write a check and when it is debited from your account is called float time. Because retailers can process checks electronically, float time has become virtually non-existent and checks can clear the same day they are written. Therefore, it is important to have enough money in your account to cover the amount of the check on the date that you write it.

 

  1. Know if you have overdraft protection: If you write a check for more than you have in your account, the check will “bounce,” and be returned as non-sufficient funds (NSF).  This can be quite costly, as you may be charged for the NSF.  If you have overdraft protection, however, your financial institution may pull funds from your savings account or from a line of credit in order to cover the NSF. You will still be charged a fee, and possibly interest by your financial institution if you overdraft your account; however, the fees are often less than if you bounce a check. If your financial institution offers overdraft protection, you may need to apply and be approved for the service.

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