(PRWEB) May 02, 2012
As the country slowly recovers from the Great Recession and more people across the US work harder to make their finances go further, Sherry Tingley, founder of business checks leader http://www.Coolchecks.net and principal writer of the website’s finance and management blog, highlights 5 essential steps to help people safely and smartly manage their checking account.
Step 1: Evaluate and choose the right bank. Individuals should never simply choose the closest bank or the one that they or a family member has been doing business with for years. Rather, they should visit various banks and credit unions, and explore various checking account packages and options. Some of these packages look great on the surface, but have hidden fees that can really add up, such as ATM fees, monthly fees, costs of checks, overdraft charges, and more. Individuals should also ask about access to online banking and any associated fees.
Step 2: Record all check transactions. While most people have many better and more interesting things to do than write down all of their check transactions, it’s an essential part of safe and smart checking account management. And once this habit is formed, keeping on top of transactions becomes much easier.
Step 3: Balance checking account transactions every month. Without delay, individuals should reconcile their monthly bank statement with the information in their check register. While it’s comforting to think that banks don’t make mistakes, the truth is that they often do – and unless account holders find and report errors promptly, correcting them can be a bureaucratic nightmare. Furthermore, signs of fraud or theft can be spotted swiftly and reported to the appropriate authorities.
Step 4: Keep a watchful eye on all automatic deposits and payments. Many people take a “set it and forget it” approach to pre-authorized automatic deposits and payments -- but that’s unwise. On the contrary, people should pay careful attention to any automatic transactions, and note the amounts.
Step 5: At all costs, avoid a zero balance. People sometimes neglect to hold a balance in their checking account, because it earns lower interest compared to savings account and other options. This is a major mistake. People should always keep a cushion of a few hundred dollars in their checking account, so they can rely on it in the event of emergency. Applying for overdraft protection is also helpful in this regard.
“Following these five essential steps will help people manage their checking accounts, and develop smart money management skills that help them live more comfortably,” commented Sherry Tingley. “And really, while some of these steps take a little time, none of them are complex or require any special knowledge or training. They’re practical steps that should be second nature to checking account holders of all ages.”
For more information or media inquiries, contact Sherry Tingley at sherry(at)coolchecks(dot)net or 801-683-8320.
Led by its Founder Sherry Tingley, Coolchecks.net offers a wide selection of business checks from several leading check printing companies. The company’s small business and personal finance blog (Coolchecks.net/blog) features a wide selection of practical articles, advice, insights and tools for small business owners and individuals.