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Money in the Bank

How do you keep your finances on track? Are there any online tools you use to keep track of what you’re spending and where? When was the last time you were caught off guard (pleasantly or not-so-much) when you checked your bank account balance?

Answers (67)

  • Everytime. Since I don't have a bank account.

  • No real job. No bank account for the past, eh... 3 years? So I don't gaaatta deal w/ this anymore.
    I used to do my banking w/ US Bank and I kept track of it online... but me being in college then would overdraft buying groceries so those pesky fees got me! Shortly after that when I moved back home I closed my bank accounts.
    I paid off loans and a credit card.
    Now I have a joint credit card w/ my sister and I get a temporary debit card to pay things over the phone or online.
    Other wise I deal in cash. Yeh boi! Lol.
  • ... Last time I checked the balance of my bank account, I realized that I had less money in there than the balance of my loan surplus. Cos I took too much out for the World Steam Expo. oops.

  • I use Mint! It's great. It automatically updates my Wells Fargo checking and savings accounts, Wells Fargo Visa, ING Direct online savings account, and Vanguard Roth IRA; categorizes transactions; shows me a progress bar on each of my monthly budget categories; and emails me when I go over budget on a category. Way easier than Quicken, which I had been using beforehand, but was such a hassle that I fell behind. With Mint, I just login about once a week to check on everything, add any transaction details I want, and I'm done.
  • What finances?

  • Good old fashion book keeping. I keep track of the monetary activity going on in my bank account. I give myself a certain amount of money each week for expenses. What I don't spend goes into the bank.
  • looking at least once a day on the banks website. I just keep looking and for me that is the best tool that i have to make sure I am not over drawn. The last time I was caught off guard in a good way was right after i knew that i needed gas and did not think I would have enough but i was pleasantly surprised to see that I had more than enough. Bad was when I was buying gifts for people and I saw that I was down to a very small amount. That nearly gave me a heart attack.

  • PNC has a wonderful monitoring system called "Virtual Wallet." It's a program you sign up with, for free mind you, when you open a checking account. You can even schedule money out so you can't spend it except for the specific purpose you scheduled it. It's a lifesaver when bill dates come around.

  • I haven't been able to keep my finances on track! I'm slowly dwindling into debt, and I need to stop! This snowball effect seems minor, but it translates into some ugly figures after all is said and done!  I've gotten my certificate from the Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey, but I have not been applying all of these God given tools and steps!  I'm now working on Baby Step #1!  So, God-willing, I will be debt-free in 4 months, and saving money for a new home in the next two years!  The last time I was pleasantly surprised by my checking account balance was a while back, and that was short-lived!  If you apply the good old fashion rules of paying your bills on time, not spending foolishly, you should be fine!
  • I've been handling my own money since I was a kid. I started working at 14, if you don't count babysitting. I had a checking account and debit card when I was 16, and a regular credit card when I was 17. I've never paid finance charges. I pay the bill off every month and I don't charge for things I can't afford. I've always kept to my budget. I paid for all three of my college degrees myself. My parents felt that it was part of the learning to pay for college. They didn't contribute to my tuition or maintenance. I have never used online tools. I used to keep my finances in order on a 3"x5" card in my wallet, one card per month. I own my car and my only debt is my mortgage. I've never been caught off-guard by a bill or low balance. My best advice is to pay yourself first. By that I mean that you should have a plan for saving part of every paycheck. And if you want something extra, get an extra job on the side. There are always jobs available if you really want to work.
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