You’ll be surprised just how many people don’t diligently keep an eye on their one or multiple bank accounts. While it’s okay to be satisfied with the inherent sense of security that comes with having your money in the bank, good financial sense dictates you should actively be keeping a check on your credit and debit transactions.
There are a few reasons why you should keep an eye on your bank balance. For starters, you’ll always know what your account balance and the available balance are. The entire balance shown in your account doesn’t need to be available for withdrawal.
The available balance represents the funds that are available for spending immediately. Those funds can either be taken out through the ATM, spent through a debit card, etc. Any pending transactions would automatically reduce the amount of available balance in the account.
Organizing your money into the appropriate bank accounts is of vital importance. A good way to go about it is to have a separate savings account. A certain percentage of your paycheck should instantly be transferred to the savings account every month.
It’s only after that amount has been saved that you can begin planning your expenses. Checking accounts are a great tool for managing daily expenses. By training yourself to not dip into savings unnecessarily, you can adjust your lifestyle accordingly.
Having a complete understanding of your spending habits is a great way to find out where additional adjustments can be made to increase savings. That’s far from the only way to bolster your bank balance. Here’s 10 of them:
Get a grip on monthly subscriptions
The rise of subscription-based services has dented many a wallet. There are dozens of TV and music streaming services in addition to similar platforms for books, podcasts, services, software, and more.
The way these services hook users is by pulling them in with either a discounted subscription or a free trial. It’s easy to get started and the costs are relatively low since you’re only meant to pay monthly, not a big amount upfront.
So it often happens that we end up subscribing to more services than we need. Or These subscriptions keep draining money from our accounts every month even when we no longer use them.
Sorting through these subscriptions is one of the easiest ways to reduce your expenses, thereby increasing the cash in hand that you’re left with.
Try to maximize cash back on purchases
You might have heard of extreme couponing and the incredible savings that it can provide. Similarly, don’t sleep on cash backs. They provide you with an incredible opportunity to stretch your dollars and put more money back in your pocket.
Utilize credit cards and offers that offer cashback on purchases. Many credit cards offer up to 2% cashback. It may not look substantial initially but this can help you save hundreds of dollars over the year.
Try to save those extra dollars
Had a purchase planned that fell through? Got paid for overtime at work? There may be situations where you end up with more money at the end of the month after expenses than you had originally budgeted.
The disciplined thing to do here would be to immediately put that money into your savings account. Unfortunately, most people would simply spend that extra bit of money left behind, particularly if they have already met their savings goal for the month. Exercising financial discipline can certainly pay off in the long run.
Fight off those impulse purchases
It’s now more difficult than ever before to resist the temptation of an impulse purchase. Social media networks have made it so easy to discover and buy new things. So it requires even more diligence on our part.
It’s easy to come across products that you may like when you’re mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, for example. These social network algorithms are excellent are presenting you with content that you want to see and may want to purchase.
That just makes it even harder to resist the temptation. By fighting off these impulse purchases, you can save money and bolster your bank balance instead. This is easier said than done, but we must start somewhere.
Reward yourself for finding deals
Nothing feels better than finding a deal for a product that you’ve been wanting to purchase. You can get it at a discount and be left with more money in your pocket.
The crucial mistake a lot of us make is that we use the leftover money to purchase something else. The reward you should be giving yourself for finding that deal should be to instantly transfer the money saved into your savings account.
Gets a savings buddy
The “buddy system” has been proven to work in many scenarios. Whether that’s a gym buddy or study buddy, it’s a great way to bring a bit of accountability into our lives as we strive to achieve our goals.
Similarly, teaming up with a friend to meet savings goals can be beneficial for both. Check in with each other and make sure that both partners are on track.
Start a side gig
Starting a side gig is an excellent way to increase your bank balance. There are a wide variety of gigs that you could do on your own time to earn a bit of extra money.
If you’re exercising extreme financial discipline, you could challenge yourself to save all of the money that you earn from your side gig. It would help supplement your savings and increase the overall size of the pot considerably over time.
Re-evaluate your bank
You may be wasting a lot of money on unnecessary bank fees simply by not paying attention to what they’re charging you for. Conventional banks may have fees for minimum account balance, the number of transactions, transfers, etc.
Take a good look at the value proposition of your bank. There are other options available now with significantly reduced fees. Stop putting money in the bank’s pocket when you could simply be using that to bolster your balance.
Ask your bank for higher rates
A lot of people assume that the APY rate offered by the conventional bank is already the best they can do. Little do they know that they could potentially be leaving money on the table simply by not asking for a better rate.
There’s enough flexibility in the system that based on certain conditions, whether that’s customer loyalty or the size of funds being deposited, that banks could be able to work out a higher APY for you, enabling you to earn a better return on your investment.
Use a high yield hybrid checking and savings account
Online banks like Aspiration offer hybrid check and savings accounts that are also called cash management accounts. They provide the best of both a checking and savings account in one financial tool.
Aspiration offers up to 1.00% APY on funds deposited in its cash management account. The biggest benefit for customers is that they don’t need to maintain separate accounts.
Since Aspiration is a neobank that operates entirely online, it doesn’t have the kind of overhead that conventional banks do. It’s able to leverage that to provide better rates to customers.
That’s also what enables Aspiration to offer its services at low fees. Unlike conventional banks, Aspiration doesn’t make money from the fees it charges to customers. It gives customers the option to “Pay What Is Fair” in fees.
By opening an account with Aspiration, customers get double the benefit of significantly reduced fees and much higher APY on savings.