We live in a world of convenience – Self-checkouts at grocery stores, drive through fast food restaurants, and the internet on our cell phones. This level of convenience can also be applied to online banking. Nowadays, it is very convenient to walk into any store, restaurant, or even movie theater, purchase what you want and simply “swipe your card” to pay. But in this ever-changing world, we must not forget good old fashioned pen and paper. In other words, after using your card to purchase goods make sure you are recording your purchases in either a notebook or a more highly recommended, transaction register. Your bank can provide you with one of these when you sign up for a checking account. Simply fill in the date, transaction type (either check number or “store purchase”), the description of the transaction (i.e. movie tickets and candy), and the amount you spent. In the right-hand column, remember to subtract the amount you spent from the previous balance to find your new total. It is a simple task that many people put off doing, but then wonder why they run out of money and sometimes over draw from their accounts.
Using ATMs is another popular convenience. However, remember to not only record the amount you withdrew, but any convenience fees associated with the withdrawal as well.
Another popular convenience is paying your bills online. Always be sure to read the fine print to make sure this option is free. Many companies charge convenience fees which can vary from company to company and can really add up in the long term. For example, a well-known credit card company charges $9.95 per bill! If you had four bills per month at this rate that could equal $39.80 a month EXTRA to pay your bills! Compare this to mailing in your bills and using a stamp at just $0.45. This could equal only $1.80 a month – a savings of $38! Once again sometimes it is better to remain “old fashioned” and use a less expensive way to pay your bills such as a postage stamp.