Is being overdrawn in your checking account an all-too-frequent occurrence for you? If it is, then this article can help you to avoid that in the future. These are tips you can use to help you avoid becoming overdrawn in your checking account. If you use them then the chances of becoming overdrawn will go way down.
1. Write down Your Spending Immediately
It’s best to write down your spending immediately. If you don’t, it’s easy to forget. Whether it’s a purchase for a cup of coffee or an insurance bill, it’s possible for it to slip your mind. Make it a point to write down the amount you spent immediately after writing a check or using your debit card. At the very least, have a time each evening when you write down everything you’ve spent that day.
2. Use a Calculator
Even if you’re great with math, it’s good to use a calculator. The thing is, anyone can make mistakes. It may not even be that you made a mathematical error. It could be that something distracts you and you write the number down wrong. Because of this, it’s best to always use a calculator when you balance your checkbook. Use it to check your work if nothing else.
3. Keep a Small Cushion in Your Account
It’s a good idea to keep a small cushion of money in your account in case a mistake slips past you. What you decide to keep in there is up to you. Maybe you want to keep twenty, fifty or a hundred dollars. Whatever amount you decide on is better than allowing yourself to spend down to zero. When you do that you’ve left no room for possible errors that could cause you to become overdrawn.
4. Don’t Spend It if You Don’t Have It
If you know you’re really low on money then don’t spend any. I know that’s hard especially when you see something on sale that you want. But spending on your account until it's way down low isn’t a good idea. You usually find this out the hard way when you need money. Then you take the chance on becoming overdrawn because you use your checking account anyway. Plan on unexpected expenses to come up at times.
5. Don’t Post-date Checks
It’s not a good idea to post-date checks. This’s true even if it’s just to your hairdresser or a friend. It’s possible that they forget and take the check to the bank too early. Then you can find yourself in the predicament of being overdrawn again. Wait until you have the money for things before you get them.
6. Have Your Partner Put Receipts in a Specific Place
If you share a checking account then your chances of becoming overdrawn could be higher. This is especially true if your partner forgets to tell you what they’ve used out of the account. Have a specific place for your partner to put their receipts each day. This way you’re able to keep their spending recorded, too. And make sure to keep them in the loop about your account, even if you’re the appointed bookkeeper.
7. Don’t Spend when You Don’t Know What’s in Your Account
Ideally, you should always know what’s in your account. If you don’t then you certainly shouldn’t be spending. If you haven’t balanced your checkbook in days, don’t spend. Take the time to bring your account up to date so you have an accurate picture of what you have. This’ll help you avoid an overdrawn account, too.
These are 7 tips to help you avoid becoming overdrawn in your checking. What tips can you add to this list? You’re welcome to share.