Gone are the days of meticulously recording and monitoring your deposits and expenditures to balance your checkbook. With the uprising of online and mobile banking, these tasks are no longer necessary. However, just because checkbooks are no longer in use doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still monitor your checking account balance. Monitoring the contents of your checking account is an important task for the security of your finances. With careful tracking, you can catch things like fraud and a hidden fee before they have time to deal with significant damage. But how frequently should you monitor your checking account? If you are taking your financial security seriously then you might consider checking credit monitoring service reviews.
How Often Should You Monitor Your Checking Account and Why?
How often should you monitor your checking account? The truth is you can never check your bank account balance enough. There is no such thing as tracking your finances too much. But what’s the purpose of balancing or monitoring your checking account? The more often you are checking the less likely it is that you will be the victim of fraud and the more likely it is that you will catch problems before they become unstoppable.
Some are satisfied by checking their bank account statement once per month, but this isn’t nearly enough for true safety. A better goal to strive for is to monitor your bank account at least once per week, multiple times is even better. If you frequently receive irregular deposits to your bank account, due to being a freelance worker or self-employed, you will benefit even more from making a habit of frequently checking your bank statements and monitoring your checking account.
Frequently checking your account and tracking your expenditures and deposits will give you a greater awareness of your finances which will make your spending more efficient. This can result in better spending habits and increased ability to save money or extra cash which everyone can benefit from.
Tips for monitoring your checking account
One of the most important tips for tracking your finances is to make sure you are monitoring all of your accounts, not just your checking account. Savings accounts and credit card accounts are just as likely to be compromised and it is just as important to keep them safe as your checking account.
An excellent way to remind yourself to check on your bank accounts is to set the login page for each one as your homepage. You could also try setting up banking alerts for yourself regularly to remind you that you haven’t checked in a while.
Remember that the most important thing to do in the case of a threat to your finances is to act fast! The consequences of having your financial accounts compromised get exponentially worse the longer it takes for you to notice them but are relatively minor if you catch them quickly enough. As soon as you notice trouble you should act immediately.
Avoid or Minimize fraud
Credit fraud is a problem that many Americans face. The only two real defenses against it are to be extremely cagey with your financial institution details and to maintain constant vigilance on your checking accounts. If you catch stolen personal information or fraudulent charges early enough you can mitigate or even completely nullify any harm they may have caused.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) if you report suspicious activity, a stolen or missing debit card before any unauthorized charges have been made in your name then you are completely absolved of all responsibility to pay those charges. If you catch and report the loss within 2 business days then you can only be charged a maximum of $50 in fraudulent charges. If you take longer than 2 business days but fewer than 60 business days to report a theft then you could be responsible for up to $500 in fraudulent charges. If you wait any longer than that you may be made to pay all of the charges off.
So, as you can see, noticing and reporting problems with your checking banking accounts as quickly as possible can save your livelihood. Check your bank funds daily, if possible, and save yourself from credit fraud and identity theft.
Keep track of your finances
An added benefit of tracking your expenditures and deposits is a greater awareness of your finances. The last thing anyone wants when performing a transaction is for their card to be declined and returned to them. Monitoring your checking bank accounts will make it much less likely that you will encounter this financial situation. If you are checking your account funds every day then it is hard to forget how much you have available to you at any given time.
Online banking makes keeping track of your balance much easier or using the bank's mobile app. Anyone with a smartphone can sign into their accounts from anywhere and check their funds, such as before making a purchase, which should help them to make more informed spending decisions.
Another added benefit of frequently monitoring your checking account activity, debit and credit transactions for a better awareness of what you are spending most of your money on. Knowing how much money you are spending regularly and what you are spending it on can make it easier to maintain a budget by showing you exactly where you need to save money.
See if you’re being charged hidden fees
If you are frequently checking your bank accounts then you will notice when a bank does something nefarious like charge you a hidden fee. Banks tend to attach ridiculous fees to the most trivial of tasks and then hiding them in the fine print of your accounts. Knowing when they have happened can’t stop them, but if you know you have been charged one of these “hidden fees” then you can call the bank immediately and ask about the purpose of the fee, which should keep you better informed on how to avoid them in the future.
Some of the most expensive bank payment fees are overdraft fees, ATM fees, balance inquiry fees, and checking account maintenance fees.
1. How often should you balance your checking account?
Check your financial accounts at least once a week. If you live paycheck to paycheck or try to reign in spending, you'll want to check your accounts even more often.
2. Is it bad to constantly check your bank account?
April Schneider, Bank of America's Head of Consumer and Small Business Products, says tracking your funds can improve financial health. "Until someone's intimate with their finances, with their spending routines, there's nothing wrong with daily checking," she says.
3. Do banks watch your account?
Banks routinely monitor accounts for fraudulent activity such as money laundering, where large sums of money from criminal activity are deposited into financial accounts and moved around to make them appear to be from a legitimate source.
4. How do you balance your checking account?
Balancing your account means adding all your debts and credits (deposits and withdrawals) to the starting balance of your online statement. Your current account funds will result.
5. How much does the average person keep in their checking account?
What is the average person's bank account? According to Federal Reserve's 2019 Consumer Finance Survey, the median funds between different types of bank accounts is $5,300. This includes checking bank accounts, a savings account, money market accounts and a debit account.