The main reason people get bank accounts is to keep their money safe; however, banks offer a variety of tools that can make managing your money easier. Consider these six ways you can better manage your bank account.
1. Mobile Check Deposit
If your employer doesn't offer direct deposit or you regularly receive paper checks from some other source, mobile check deposit can take the hassle out of having to go to the bank to deposit your checks. To use this service, you endorse the back of the check. Some banks may specify a specific endorsement, such as "for mobile deposit only." You then use your smartphone to take a picture of the front and back of the check. Your bank will do the rest. In addition to getting access to your money without having to go to the bank in person, you now have a digital record of your deposit that may be useful if you need proof of income.
2. Low Balance Alerts
Accidentally overdrawing your bank account can be embarrassing, frustrating and expensive. However, banks can help you avoid this problem by using their low balance alert tool. These alerts can usually be set up online or through your bank's mobile app. Once you have the alert set up, you will get a text, email message or push notification that alerts you whenever the balance in your account goes below the dollar amount you chose. This will alert you that you need to stop spending and make a deposit in your account. It can also be useful for detecting fraudulent charges.
3. Savings Sub-Accounts
Most people know they should try to save money for emergency use, retirement or other expenses. However, many people struggle to build up a savings account. One way to increase your motivation to regularly contribute to your savings account is to start saving for specific goals. Many banks offer savings sub-accounts that can be earmarked for specific savings goals, such as a family vacation or a new car. By labeling your money for a specific purpose, you are less likely to keep dipping into your savings for unnecessary spending.
4. Online Bill Pay
Paperless billing is better for the environment and avoids the need to keep track of your mail. However, without the physical reminder of a paper bill, it can be difficult for some people to remember when their bills are due. Online bill pay can make it easier to make sure all your bills get paid on time. You can receive electronic reminders of when your bills are due or set up automatic payments so that you don't have to worry about missing due dates.
5. Automatic Savings
Another way to increase your savings account balance is to use an automatic savings deposit tool. These tools automatically transfer whatever amount of money you specify from your checking account to your savings account. You can set this up to happen as often as you choose, such as monthly or whenever you receive your paycheck.
6. Budgeting Tools
Creating a budget is one of the most important things you can do to better manage your finances. Your bank's budgeting tools can be particularly useful because your bank already has a lot of your financial information, which saves you the time and effort of having to manually input all of that data. Most banks offer budgeting tools through their online banking portal and many also make them a part of their mobile app. These tools can help you analyze where your money is going, where you can make cuts to increase your savings and determine how to better reach your financial goals. They can even automatically classify your spending items by type so that you can see how much of your money is going to things like entertainment, dining out, utility bills, groceries and more.
Managing your money doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming. These six tools help make it easy to stay on top of your finances.