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5 Reasons to Check your Bank Accounts Regularly

December 27, 2022

5 Reasons to Check Your Bank Accounts Regularly

With the advent of online banking and mobile financial apps, the old ritual of balancing a checkbook and carefully marking cleared items off the register is largely a thing of the past. If you are of a certain age, you may remember your parents or grandparents poring through their checkbooks, using their calculators to account for every penny.

If you came of age in the 21st century, chances are good you have never had to endure this checkbook balancing ritual, but that does not mean you can afford to leave your finances to chance. Even if you rely on things like automatic bill pay and mobile banking, there are very good reasons to examine your transactions closely on at least a monthly basis. Here are five reasons you should be checking your bank accounts on a regular basis.

#1. Banks Can, and Do, Make Mistakes

Even the best bank is not infallible, and banking errors can and do happen every day. Sometimes the cause is simple human error - a transposed number, a missing digit or a fat finger on the keyboard. In other cases the cause may be more nefarious - like deliberate fraud or theft by bank insiders.

No matter what the cause, finding these bank errors and getting them corrected is one of the best reasons to check your accounts on a regular basis. The sooner you report those banking blunders the faster your missing money can be returned, so go online today and keep a close watch on your cash.

#2. You Have a Limited Window for Reporting Errors

If your bank does make a mistake, paying someone else's bill out of your account, taking too much cash out for an ATM withdrawal, or victimizing you financially due to simple human error, you only have a limited amount of time to act. Once that window closes, you may not be able to recover your lost funds even if the bank is clearly at fault.

For that reason alone it is important to check your bank balances and transactions carefully. If you do not want the window to close, you should be checking your balances and transaction history a minimum of once a month, and preferably more often.

#3. It Will Keep You Accountable

It is easy to close your eyes and ignore how much you are spending, but seeing those frivolous purchases in black and white will serve as a real wake-up call. Checking your bank balances on a regular basis is one of the best ways to keep yourself accountable, so you can control your spending going forward.

Keeping yourself accountable is one of the best ways to build a better financial future, and all it takes is a simple log on. It only takes a few minutes to log on to your banking website or mobile app, and the information you glean will be more than worth the trouble.

#4. Budgeting Will Be Easier

Knowing how much money you have available is a key part of budgeting, and a vital underpinning for all your financial decisions. If you want to build a better budget, checking your bank accounts regularly is always a good place to start.

When you know how much you have on hand, how much you are earning from your paycheck and various investments and how much you are spending, you can build a better spending plan. Over time you can use what you learn to tweak and fine tune your budget, squeezing more and more life out of the money you already have.

#5. Knowing How Much You Have Can Help You Maximize Your Return

It is important to keep enough cash on hand for emergencies, but allowing your cash reserves to grow too large could actually cost you money. By failing to invest that extra cash, could be missing out on hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest, money you forgo if you fail to keep tabs on your holdings.

When you check your accounts regularly and do some simple calculations, you can free up extra cash for more lucrative investments. Whether you invest the excess cash flow in the stock market or park it in a bank CD, you can increase your rate of return and build additional wealth for the future.

It is easy to trust your bank to do the right thing and put off checking your accounts, but when it comes to your money a little verification can go a long way. Even if you never touch a checkbook again, logging on to your accounts and verifying your balances regularly is a very smart thing to do.