Performing an account balance check is without doubt the most useful thing you could do to avoid overdraft fees and have an overdrawn bank account. In fact, it is the best thing you could do to avoid bank fees in general. Many of us fail to check our balance regularly although it is completely free. Why is that? Well, some of us are just afraid to take a look at how much is left in our account and just prefer to think that “everything is going to be alright” (and it usually is). Some of us just forget, or don’t see the importance to check our balance regularly, or haven’t developed the awareness to check how much money we have at all time.
Multiple bank accounts can easily increase the friction because it will require to do multiple actions to really know how much we have in total. We will need to contact every bank to do it.
Monitoring your accounts balance is the best way to avoid overdraft fees or NSF (non-sufficient funds). The reason behind this is simple: most of the overdraft occurs because of a mismatch between your expenses and your paycheck. Actively thinking about spending less money a few days before your next paycheck comes in will go a long way. It might make you save hundreds of dollars every year on bank fees.
Account balance check
If you have decided that you are going to start checking your account balance frequently in order to save money, you need to understand the best way to do it. A lot of people have multiple bank accounts at different banks and you might not be able to monitor your accounts in the same way at each bank. Your local bank probably doesn’t have an application! Let’s dig in:
There are a few ways to perform an account balance check. The most obvious that will work with EVERY BANK is to call them – a lot of them have automated systems that will tell you how much is left in your account (after they check your identity). For the rest (usually smaller institutions), you will speak with a real human being.
The second obvious way to do it is online – on your bank’s website or application if they have one.
How to check my bank account balance online
We recommend to check your bank account balance online if you can. It is easy, fast, free and doesn’t require you to call and stay on the line with a robot for a few minutes. Checking your account online can be done in 2 ways:
- Bank’s website: most banks (even the small ones) have websites that will allow you to perform different actions. Checking your balance is probably one of the most basic one we can imagine. You can either enter your bank website through your computer or through a smartphone, although your smartphone might not be ideal in terms of format. That’s why banks are publishing applications.
- Bank’s app: checking your balance through your bank’s app is the easiest way to keep an eye on what’s happening in your financial life. All the large banks have one and some of the small ones are also in the game. In two clicks, you open the app, and after entering your password (or using Touch ID, that is your fingerprint), you get access to your bank balance.
If you use your bank’s app, we recommend you to move the icon of your bank on your home page – it will be easier to remember it exists. If you’re like me and can’t remember something two minutes after someone told it to you, you should definitely add weekly reminders to enter the app or website and check your balance.