5 Reasons to Check Your Bank Account At Least Once a Week

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KEY POINTS

  • You should check your bank account balance at least once a week.
  • By checking your account details, you can make sure to catch any problems early on.
  • You could spot surprise charges, and make sure you don't overdraft your account by mistake.

Checking your account balance often could help you avoid major financial mistakes.

Checking your bank account is easy for most people because you can simply sign in to your account online to see your current balance and to review recent transactions. 

It's good news that it's so simple to review your bank details, as you'll ideally want to check in on your account at least once per week. Here are five big reasons why that's the case. 

1. To avoid overdrafting

One of the biggest reasons to make sure you check your account regularly is to make sure you have enough money in it that you aren't in danger of overdrafting. Overdrafting means you take more money out of the account than you have -- either by manually charging items to your debit card that exceed your balance or by writing checks or setting up automatic withdrawals for more than you have in your account.

If you check in on your bank status at least once a week, you'll be able to see your outstanding balance and compare that amount with pending checks, auto payments, and purchasing plans. You can change course if you notice you're likely to have expenditures exceeding the money you have -- perhaps by depositing more money or by changing the date of an auto payment until after an upcoming paycheck is deposited. 

2. To ensure you receive all the deposits you were expecting

If you have a paycheck coming in or you manually deposit money, you'll want to check to ensure your outstanding account balance reflects this. Banks can make mistakes when money is deposited or you could find there was a glitch in your employer's payment process. In either situation, you would want to act ASAP to get the money that's due to you. 

3. To keep tabs on your spending

You'll want to be sure you aren't living beyond your means -- especially if you are using a credit card to charge purchases. By comparing your bank balance with your card balance and with future projected spending, you can hopefully ensure you have enough money in your account to pay off your card in full and avoid paying interest. 

If you notice you are spending much more than the amount of money in your bank account, this is a strong sign you could be getting into trouble with your credit cards and need to cut back on your expenditures or increase income. 

4. To look for unexpected charges

Reviewing your bank account details at least once a week allows you to spot any charges that you weren't anticipating. This could help you quickly see if someone has obtained your bank details and is accessing your money without your authorization. 

You can also see if there are auto-renewing charges for services you forgot to cancel, so you can quickly act to end unwanted spending. For example, if you signed up for a free trial of a streaming service and saw a charge hit your bank account, it could remind you that you forgot to cancel before you had to pay. You can then act ASAP to end your subscription so you don't get charged the next month too. 

5. To make sure you're sticking to your budget

Finally, you can compare the recent transactions in your bank account with your planned spending on your budget to make sure you're on track. If you budgeted to invest for retirement or for other savings goals, you can also make sure you're transferring the necessary funds over.

By checking in on your account regularly, in other words, you can make sure you're spending your money wisely and that no money is missing that should be available to you. 

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