Here’s a trick people on top of their money use every day: A quick check of what’s in, (or not in), the bank
It might sound crazy but checking our bank balance daily is one way to ensure we are always money-mindful. Of course, it doesn’t change how much, or how little, is in there. And if it’s always bad news, that can be hard to take. But like letting mountains of unopened bills mount up by the door, ignoring things won’t help.
On the flipside, if we routinely check our balance, we will spot when any direct debits have gone out. We’ll also always know how much is there when more direct debits are due, too. People on top of their money make sure there’s enough in the account to cover what’s due. This way they avoid costly overdraft or non-payment fees.
IGNORANCE IS NO DEFENCE
Knowing how much money is there will act as a deterrent when we’re tempted to splash out. It could be something small like a coffee or bigger like a top we’ve had our eye on for weeks. But if the money’s not there, it’s not there.
We mustn’t fool ourselves that we didn’t know and so it was an honest slip. If we don’t know what’s in our account, we’ve made a wilful decision not to know. Ignorance is no defence.
Again, if we’re pleasantly surprised, that’s great news. That’s a bit extra to spend on a treat. No-one said we needed to be the patron saint of good money management.
ONLINE ALL THE TIME
During the pandemic, most people’s habits were forced to change. Many people who visited a cashpoint on a regular basis had to think again. For them, there was the option to catch up with the millions already benefiting from online banking.
According to research by Lloyds Bank, almost nine in every ten people who bank online say it helps them worry less about their finances. They like being able to access, spend and move money around 24 hours a day without leaving home. They are also less likely to go overdrawn.
Some banks can organise a daily text alert of our account balance. Almost all of them have an App we can download onto a smartphone. And all can be accessed online. So there’s no excuse for not getting into the routine of staying money-mindful. If we don’t even know where to start, we should let our fingers do the walking and call the bank to ask.
LearnMyWay has online courses for people wanting to stay safe online and build their confidence and skills with the internet. Their course on digital banking can be found here. It’s free to register and start using the service.