Teaching Kids to Be Responsible with Money

Six Bad Habits To Avoid Getting Into After You Open A Checking Account

by Ian Wallace

When you open a new checking account, it's important to get into good habits so that you manage your checking account properly. Unfortunately, many checking account holders get into bad habits that negatively impact their finances.

The following are six bad habits to avoid getting into after you open a checking account. 

Neglecting to pay attention to your transaction history

Paying attention to your transaction history and balancing your account is important so that you can detect any errors and manage your spending. Looking over your transaction history gives you a good understanding of what your major expenses are and what types of spending you can cut back on to improve your finances. 

Forgetting about monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements

When you open a checking account, it's essential that you're aware of monthly fees that will be deducted from your balance. Many banks charge monthly service fees if an account holder doesn't have direct deposit for their paychecks or doesn't maintain at least a certain minimum balance.

Losing your debit card

Keep careful track of your debit card so that you don't lose it. If you do lose your debit card, let your financial institution know right away so that your card can be canceled. This will prevent unauthorized charges on your account from costing you money if your lost debit card is found or stolen. 

Letting your balance get too high before transferring funds to savings

As part of managing your funds, you should transfer money from your checking account to a savings account once your balance gets high enough. Transferring funds to a savings account can allow you to earn a little bit of interest every month which can allow the value of your savings to keep up with inflation.

Transferring funds to a savings account can also help you to save up money more efficiently because you'll be less tempted to spend funds that are readily available in your checking account. 

Overdrawing your checking account

Overdrawing your checking account can be very expensive. Almost every bank out there charges account holders fees for overdrawing their checking accounts. Some banks charge fees that can really add up quickly if account holders overdraw their accounts multiple times. 

If you are concerned about overdraft fees, you might be able to discuss the possibility of connecting a credit card account to your checking account. Many banks offer this setup, which allows any overdrawn amount to be charged to your credit card so that you don't pay any fees. 

Neglecting to shred correspondence from your checking account bank before throwing it away

Monthly statements that you receive from your financial institution regarding your checking account can contain sensitive information like your account's routing number and your checking account number.

Protect your sensitive information by always shredding checking account documents before you throw them away. This way, your sensitive information won't be easily stolen from your trash. 

Reach out to a financial institution for more info on opening a checking account.