A bank account allows us to receive money easily, as well as being able to pay bills automatically. Modern day online accounts also offer a selection of other tools, such as what your money is being spent on, and the total amount received for the month.
Many may not enjoy the prospect of having to go through their account, but burying your hand in the sand can mean that your budgeting efforts are put on hold. What’s more, if we’re able to get our bank account running in the right way, we can better utilise the service to ensure that there is complete clarity where our expenses are concerned.
Consider Using Multiple Accounts
For many of us, one bank account is enough. However, this is where confusion can set in. With so many payments entering and leaving the account, you may soon struggle to determine what certain payments are for. This is where a secondary account can come in useful. Having a separate account for our bills means we have more clarity when it comes to ensuring funds are available to meet financial commitments.
Ensure You Register for Online Banking
When preparing your budget, your bank statement will be one of the most important pieces of information you need to look at. While we can get statements posted, the more popular online avenue has taken prevalence, and it’s not hard to see why.
Whereas we must wait for paper statements, online banking offers a real-time snapshot of your account, which means you can allocate more recent payments more quickly.
You will also be able to search for transactions, meaning that you don’t have the laborious task of perusing hundreds of bank statements to balance the books.
Consider Connecting Your Budgeting or Accountancy Software
Once you have determined as to how many accounts you need, you will then be able to connect your accountancy or budgeting software. Online privacy remains a focal point for many, but as long as you don’t disclose your login information to anyone, there’s no reason as to why you should be at risk.
While not everyone will have access to the necessary software, it’s worth noting that there are solutions available that will automatically allocate your payments, meaning that there is less for you to do, and your budget is more precise as a result.
Check What Tools Your Bank Offers
Depending on the financial institution you use, many will have some form of money management system in place that allows you to view your spending over an allocated time. While this may not be as precise as your budget, it does allow you to view where your money has been spent in the past, giving a clearer indication of areas that you may need to cut back on.
Avoid Holding Cards for All Bank Accounts
If you’ve set up an account to help you with your savings, then it’s advisable to make withdrawing money as difficult as possible. While some can rely on willpower, many who hold a card for their savings account will often make a withdrawal. While all good intentions to replace the money may be there, life can get in the way, and before we know it, we’ve noticed that our savings aren’t as healthy as we first thought.
While we need to ensure we have access to a card, we should reject any cards for accounts we’re looking to save with. With less temptation and the hassle of having to transfer funds, it’s more likely that we will only use such measures in an emergency.
Check What Benefits Are Available
When you open an account with a bank, there’s often a selection of benefits available. While these may incur a small fee, in some instances, the services on offer are more cost-effective than going to the provider yourself.
Of course, you may need to carry out some research first, but if you’re able to save some money by using the services on offer from the bank, then it all helps towards our end goal.
Consider a Long-Term Savings Account
When setting up our bank accounts, it’s important that we use the right type of account for each goal. For example, if you’re saving towards a holiday or a large purchase, then a savings account will be the most suitable solution.
However, there are several types of savings accounts, some with more stringent rules than others. However, if you find saving money to be difficult, then it may be worth checking out what accounts are available, and which best suits your purpose. It can also be a good idea to look for attractive interest rates if you’re planning to save long-term.
Download and Use the App
While online banking allows us to view our bank accounts easily, it’s an app that truly offers us 24/7 access to our information at all times. Once you have determined as to what each account will be used for, you will be able to ensure that you’re budgeting goal is heading in the right direction with a few simple thumb swipes.
You can also ensure that you’re able to contest any payments you don’t recognise. While some payments can be authentic, there are others that may go unrecognised unless we’re monitoring the account. Raising any concerns sooner rather later ensures that our finances don’t spiral out of control.
The use of multiple accounts can help us reach our budgeting goals more effectively, but it’s important that we use them in the right way. If we start applying for overdrafts or have payments rejected, the bank accounts could end up costing us more in the long run.