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Do You Know What’s Happening In Your Checking Account?

While a checking account is a significant and simple component of your personal finances, that simplicity can also lead to your complacency. Case in point: When’s the last time you considered—what are some ways that I can better manage my checking account? If it’s been a while, you could be missing out on time- and money-saving features. Consider these six tips to manage your checking account wisely:

  1. Use Automation
    One of the easiest ways to manage your checking account and save time is to automate your finances. Consider setting up a direct deposit with your employer so your paycheck lands right in your checking account and is ready to go. WKFCU can help WKHS employees with that. You can also set up payroll deduction so that a certain amount goes directly into your savings each pay period, which can help you save for important goals without having to remember each month or paycheck (bonus: you also won’t be tempted to splurge instead of save).

    Another tip to manage your checking account is to set up bill pay so your monthly bills are paid from your account automatically. This saves you from writing checks, paying postage and mailing the check. Since some companies charge processing fees for credit card payments, you may be able to save money if you send bill payments from your checking account or have the company withdraw the money from your account directly.
  2. Know Your Balance
    Whether you’re setting alerts with a budgeting software or using the WKFCU app, you always want to have an idea of how much money you have in your account. You can also check in on your balance and manage your checking account by logging into your account online or calling Telephone Teller or visiting an ATM. Knowing how much money you have available will make it easier to plan for upcoming bills, avoid fees and better monitor your budget and spending.

    While keeping close tabs on your balance is a way to manage your checking account, it’s also a way to protect your account. An unsuspected drop in your balance or suspicious activity could be an indication of fraud. Quickly reporting potentially fraudulent activity could help limit your liability and secure your account against additional theft.
  3. Explore the Mobile App
    Another way to manage your checking account is to get familiar with the WKFCU mobile app. In addition to letting you check your balance while you’re on the go, the mobile app can help you manage your checking account by letting you deposit checks, review account activity and pay bills.
  4. Avoid Fees
    • Choose an account that doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee, regardless of your account balance or account activity.
    • ATM Withdrawal Fees. You should know which ATMs you can withdraw cash from without paying a fee. WKFCU does not charge a fee for using your debit card at an ATM.
    • Overdrafting—when a transaction brings your account balance below zero—can lead to fees. It’s called a Non-sufficient Funds Fee -- NSF Fee. WKFCU offers Overdraft Protection that will transfer funds from a share/savings account with only a $2.50 fee. You should also be aware of fees associated with ordering checks, sending wires and stopping payments.
  5. Consider consolidating
    Some people have multiple checking accounts. Consolidate and simplify your finances to make it easier to monitor. You’ll have to remember login information for multiple accounts, keep track of different balances and remember which account you use for which bills. Plus, it may be easier to avoid potential fees for just one account.
  6. Decide where to keep extra money
    Your checking account can be a great place to store money for everyday spending—think entertainment, food and transportation-related expenses—as well as regular monthly bills. But a different type of bank account could be a better fit for intermediate- and long-term savings. For intermediate-term goals, a savings account or share certificate of deposit could be a good fit. Tax-advantaged accounts may offer benefits if you’re saving for long-term goals, such as your retirement or a child’s college education.

WKFCU offers 3 types of share draft/checking accounts:

  • Classic Checking
    No monthly fee and no minimum balance required
  • Performance Checking
    Earns dividends on balances greater than $500, free check orders, no monthly fee with minimum balance of $1,500
  • Prime-Timers Checking (ages 55 and over)
    Earns dividends, free check orders, free teller checks, free traveler’s cheques, no monthly fee, no minimum balance

Here are some reasons to choose a WKFCU share draft/checking account:

  • No per check fee or per deposit fee
  • VISA Debit Card
  • Direct Deposit and Payroll deduction
  • Mobile Deposit
  • Overdraft Line of Credit
  • Overdraft Protection - Transfers funds from a share/savings account with a $2.50 fee per transfer. Some restrictions apply.
  • Mobile App
  • Mobile Text Banking
  • Internet Banking with Free Bill Pay
  • BRELLA App for Debit Card
  • e-Statements
  • Telephone Teller - (318) 212-0612

For more information visit our website at www.wkfcu.org.

Shreveport Branch: 318-621-0605; Bossier Branch: 318-629-5622

(Reprinted in part from discover.com)

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