Is Balancing Your Checking Account Still Relevant in the Digital World?
To some, balancing or reconciling your bank account may sound like an old-fashioned bookkeeping chore best suited for a time when people wrote a lot of checks. While it’s true you can easily access your balance through your mobile app or online banking; reviewing your account weekly or at least monthly remains a good financial habit.
Just because your mobile app says you have $300 in your checking account doesn’t necessarily mean that it matches your anticipated withdrawals and deposits. And, what’s that unfamiliar $23 charge on your account anyway. Do you know where that came from?
There are several good reasons to balance your account. It can help you:
Identify unauthorized bank transactions. Fraudsters are always looking for victims, and if the charge is minimal, people often overlook it. However, one small charge can lead to bigger charges that could eventually wipe out your entire account.
Spot automatic withdrawals for forgotten subscriptions or services you no longer want or use. Typical examples include subscription-based streaming services, a security system from a home you no longer live in, and book and magazine subscriptions.
Find overcharges, such as a debit card charge that is higher than the amount of the purchase on your receipt. Merchant overcharges and duplicate charges happen more often than you’d think. Keep a watchful eye on purchases made online, at vacation spots, and at bars and restaurants.
Prevent overdraft charges. Sometimes people forget an automatic payment is scheduled to come out of their account. Health, life, and home insurance are good examples of quarterly or annual expenses that account holders put out of mind until they notice that their balance has been unexpectedly reduced.
Manage your budget. If you use your debit card frequently to make purchases, it’s easy to lose track of how many times you’ve eaten out for lunch, purchased your favorite Caffe Mocha latte, or made other impulse purchases. It’s a way to look at your budget from a different perspective and realize that you could save a lot each month by simply eating out less often.
Undoubtedly, the biggest benefit of balancing your account is peace of mind and confidence about your finances. If you discover something you don’t recognize, contact the bank as quickly as possible and we can help investigate the transaction.
- account security
- check fraud
- checking account
- debit card
- fraud prevention
- unauthorized transaction