Avoiding Overdrafts

June 10, 2014

If you have ever spent more money than you have in your account, you have probably learned the hard way that overdrafts can be a very costly mistake. For each purchase over your balance you can incur a fee that can range anywhere from $10 – $40 on the bank side, and to top it off, the business you bounced the check with may also charge you a fee! Fortunately, there are many ways to avoid those pesky overdraft fees.

Maintain a small cushion in your account. Keeping a cushion of funds in your account at all times can help to avoid overdraft fees that may be the result of a small math error. Once you determine how much you can afford to use as your cushion, leave that money in your account but don’t count in your available funds. After a while you’ll forget that the money is there but will be thankful that it is should you make a mistake while balancing your checkbook!

Sign-up for ENB’s Online Banking and the Bank on the Go! mobile app. Electronically monitoring your account may be the easiest and most convenient way to know exactly how much money is available. However, be wary of depending solely on balance inquiries to determine available funds – transactions that have not cleared the bank may not be taken into account. These methods allow you to check your balance 24/7 from anywhere you may be. Online Banking also gives you the option to create custom alerts to notify you if your balance falls below a certain level or to set-up automatic transfers between accounts.

Take advantage of Telephone Banking.  Like Online Banking and the mobile app, telephone banking is a great way to keep track of available funds in your account and to monitor outstanding checks. Like Online Banking, you should not depend completely on this for account balance since checks or transactions that have not cleared may still be part of your available funds.

Open an account that can be linked to your Savings Account.  ENB’s Bonus Checking Overdraft Protection allows you to link your checking to a savings account to give you peace of mind should you go over your balance. Funds will automatically sweep from your savings account to avoid non-payment or costly overdraft fees.

Keep your spending record up-to-date in your check register or your electronic management system (Quicken, Microsoft Money, etc.).  Record all checks and electronic transactions in your ledger or program as soon as you make them to avoid forgetting transactions. Don’t forget everyday transactions that can add up quickly like ATM withdrawals and fees, debit card purchases, and online or automatic payments.

For more information on ways to avoid overdraft fees, contact your ENB banker today!

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