When you have a bank account, it’s easy to assume that everything will be fine if you spend less than what’s in your account. But that’s not always the case. In some instances, an overdraft can occur where your transactions are unable to clear and you have to pay for those transactions with a fee. Overdrafting your bank account is not ideal for several different reasons.
First, the fees that you will incur will be more expensive than if you don’t overdraft. Second, if this becomes a habit, it can hurt your credit score which isn’t something anyone wants to happen as a result of this one negative financial action. But how do you avoid overdrafting your bank account? Here are 11 tips on how you can avoid over drafting your account so it doesn’t negatively impact your financial situation:
Only Deposit the Amount of Money You Can Afford to Lose
If you only deposit the amount of money you can afford to lose, overdrafting your account won’t be an issue. If you only deposit a certain amount of money into your account, you will have a certain amount of funds available to you. In this case, it won’t matter if your account is overdrawn because you simply don’t have enough funds to make the transaction in the first place.
If you are depositing the amount of money you can afford to lose, it’s important to note that you may be charged a fee for depositing an insufficient amount of money into your account. The overdraft fee is typically less than the NSF fee though so it might be worth the risk to lose a small amount of money if you are trying to avoid overdrafting your account.
Don’t Use Your Debit Card Unless It’s an Emergency
This one seems like a no-brainer but it’s an important tip nonetheless. As noted above, if you don’t use your debit card except in the event of an emergency, you won’t be overdrafting your account. However, it’s important to note that putting some funds into your account each month is a good idea if you’re trying to avoid overdrafting.
This way you have funds available to you when you need them. If you never put any money into your account, you won’t have any money available to you if you end up needing it. If you don’t have any funds available to you, you will likely end up overdrafting your account.
Cancel Any Automatic Payments
If you are making automatic payments to your utility company or credit card company, you might find yourself overdrawing your account if those payments don’t go through. In this case, you should cancel those automatic payments if you are trying to avoid overdrafting your account.
There are some cases where you will have to continue to make automatic payments even though you have overdrawn your account. This is particularly true when it comes to utility companies. If this is the case, you will increase your chances of overdrafting your account.
Pay Close Attention to What You Are Spending
Are you spending more money than what you have in your account? If you are, you might be overdrafting your account. It’s important to pay close attention to what you are spending and how much you have in your account. If you have a set amount of money in your account each month, it’s important to pay attention to how much you are spending to ensure you don’t overspend and overdraft your account. You can use a budgeting app or pen and paper to track your spending so you know exactly where you stand each month.
Set Up Alerts When Writing Checks or Using Your Debit Card
If you are writing checks or using your debit card, you should set up alerts on your account so you know if your account is overdrawn. You might have transactions going through that you aren’t even aware of. If you know that one of your transactions is bringing you to the edge of overdrafting your account, you can act accordingly to avoid this.
If you are unaware of what transactions are going through your account and what transactions you have made, it can be difficult to avoid overdrafting your account. You can avoid this by setting up alerts when you are writing checks or using your debit card.
Check Your Bank Statements Regularly
This falls in line with the above tip where you should check your bank statements regularly. If you are unaware of what transactions are going through your account and what transactions you have made, it can be difficult to avoid overdrafting your account.
By checking your bank statements regularly, you can get a good idea of how much money is going out of your account and how much money is coming in. With this information, you can adjust your spending and spending habits as needed to avoid overdrafting your account.
Avoid Using ATMs as Much as Possible
This is a tip that is listed under both avoiding overdrafting your account and avoiding NSF fees. If you are taking out cash from an ATM, it will likely be charged an ATM fee. This is an additional fee that you might not be aware of.
If you are taking out cash from an ATM but don’t have enough funds in your account to cover this ATM withdrawal, you will be overdrawn. Avoid taking out large amounts of cash from an ATM and make sure you have enough funds in your account to cover the amount of the ATM withdrawal.
Utilize a Budgeting App
If you are struggling to avoid overdrafting your account, a budgeting app can be extremely helpful. Budgeting apps can provide you with graphs and charts that will help you understand where your money is going and how much you can spend on different things. These apps can help you avoid overdrafting your account by keeping you on track with how much you can spend and how much money you have available in your account.
Take the 30 Day Trial Offered by your Bank Before Choosing an Overdraft Protection Plan
You should always examine your bank’s overdraft protection plan before choosing it. But before you do this, take the 30 day trial offered by your bank and see if you even need this type of protection. If you don’t need this protection and are simply choosing it out of fear of overdrafting your account, you are only hurting yourself.
If you don’t need to use an overdraft protection plan, don’t choose one. If you don’t choose one, you won’t be charged the fee that comes with an overdraft protection plan and you will avoid overdrafting your account.
An overdraft can occur when you don’t have enough money in your bank account. You can avoid overdrafts by keeping track of your spending, using an ATM only when needed, and only using your debit card for emergencies. You can also avoid overdrafting your account by depositing the amount of money you can afford to lose, setting up alerts when writing checks or using your debit card, and by checking your bank statements regularly. Take the 30 day trial offered by your bank before choosing an overdraft protection plan, and you can avoid overdrafting your account.