Do you know how much money you have in your checking account? If you have just a rough idea, you may want to take a closer look at how you manage and track your account activity. Online banking can make this easier by offering convenient access to your account information and the ability to pay bills and move your money. The following tips will show you how to use online banking services to your advantage.
With online banking you can securely bank anytime and anywhere you want as long as you have access to the Internet. You can use your computer - or, with some banks, even your smartphone - to check your balance, transfer money and pay bills on the go. Mobile banking services are generally available to you at no cost, but keep in mind that you may incur charges from your mobile service provider depending on your wireless plan. Some banks also offer mobile banking features like a mobile web site and mobile app to enable truly on-the-go banking and money management.
Sometimes it's far too easy to lose track of your money when you're busy trying to balance work and family. Online banking can help you keep tabs on your money and account balances. Many banks even let you set up alerts online to notify you when your balance is low, if a bill is due, when your pay check is direct deposited and more. Alerts are a great way to keep track of the amount of funds in your account and help avoid incurring overdraft and late payment fees.
You can also use your smartphone to check your account via mobile banking right before you make a purchase. Remember to mentally subtract any checks you've written that haven't been cashed, as well as any automatic payments due to come out of your account soon. Many online and mobile banking services also enable you to transfer funds from your savings account to your checking to ensure purchases are covered. (Learn more about Bank of America overdraft solutions.)
Paying your bills online can make your banking life much easier. You can avoid the hassle of paper bills, making extra trips to your bank or worrying about checks being lost in the mail. Beyond that, paying your bills online keeps all of your billing records in one easy-to-find place. You can also set up automatic payments using your debit or credit card.
Many online banking systems let you see exactly how much you have paid to any given company over a certain period of time, be it your mortgage provider, dry cleaner or power company. When tax season rolls around, you can easily access a record of all the online payments you've made. For example, you can see an aggregated total of payments to your mobile carrier to figure out how many of those charges could be tax deductible.
Tips for money management through online and mobile banking wouldn't be complete without a note on security. Banks take the security of their online banking services very seriously. In addition to site encryption, most banks also exempt users from liability for fraudulent transactions, guard their users' personal information and ensure accurate as well as fast online transactions. (Note: Bank of America ensures your protection via its Online Banking Security GuaranteeFootnote1.)
If you haven't yet taken advantage of the features mentioned above, take some time to set them up to ensure you're using online banking to its full potential. Your local bank branch may be able to guide you in setting up online and mobile banking as well as provide other money management tips.
Ready to get started with Online Banking? Learn more about industry-leading online banking solutions from Bank of America.