January 27, 2011

{G.Y.M.U.} Money in the Bank

When was the last time you balanced your bank account? I don't mean calling in to PNC to inquire about how much money is in your account or to see if the check you post-marked had been deposited early and bounced. I mean actually taking the time to see if the purchases you made tally to the amount you've spent. To be quite honest with you, I haven't balanced my account in a very long time. I've gotten to the point in my budget where I am able to stick to my guidelines, know my expenses and the amount in which I should have without checking. Not to mention a cushion of cash that allows me to fall without getting hurt. It's something I am not to proud to admit, but the truth moves you one step closer to accepting your faults and correcting them. I need to be better about checking my account! Goal: at least once a week.

The reason I ask, is because it just so happened that I looked at my account the other day to see that I had been wrongfully charged for the my monthly utility bill. I've set up automatic bill pay to reduce the stress of memorizing several due dates and find it quite convenient to have my bills taken straight from my bank account. Another reason I seldom look at my bank account. Granted this requires you to have the funds in the account, if you usually spend until there's a penny left: leave this method of payment ALONE! However, I noticed that this month's payment was $20.00 more than it was for last month's payment. I quickly pulled out my blackberry, called the company and demanded answers for being overcharged. They informed me that as of the new year, their prices had gone up. I asked to be sent to retentions...they asked if I'd stay if my price were reduced. Needless to say, I have a $20.00 credit for February and the same rate I had in 2010!

Now, I am not encouraging you to tell whomever on the recieving line of your complaint to send you to retentions, cause low key you might be HIGH KEY CUT! Not everybody plays those games or believes those bluffs! But, I am encouraging you to worry about the activity that goes on within your bank account. Always be conscience of what is going on with the money that belongs to you. Often times, banks charge when you use an ATM machine that isn't there's. Not only does the ATM machine ask you if you are okay with the $2.00 fee, but your bank slaps you with a $2.00 fee as well -$4.00 gone! Although I have a free checking account, some banks charge $.10 for each check. So not only have you paid at least $10.00 for checks, you might even have to pay for processing.

Additionally, knowing what is going on with your account helps you to be budget-conscience. Have you ever noticed that most bank accounts have two balances, usually posted and available. Posted refers to all transactions that have been cleared and applied to your account at the close of the previous business day. Whereas available includes all purchases that have been authorized but not posted. When making purchases be sure to pay attention to the AVAILABLE balance as this reflects all purchases both cleared and authorized. Not to mention keep track of your spending as you spend to ensure you don't overdraft your account.

Next Week: Overdraft Protection!
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1 comment:

  1. Fabulous Hicks4/2/11 01:55

    Thanks for the great advice!




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