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Balancing Your Checkbook

Overdraft Protection

So you set up your bank account and now you can access your money..
Be careful! If you withdraw more money than is currently in your account,
it will hurt! Not only will the payment be rejected, the bank will charge you
additional fees (sometimes as high as $35 – $40) for overdrawing the account.
(So you will then have even less money – does not really make sense!). How to avoid these extra expenses? Two ways:

  • Reconcile and know what your bank balance is to avoid the problem altogether.
  • Set up “overdraft protection” to cover checks when money is lacking.

See the links below for more information. Be careful! Overdraft protection comes in many forms and can often be costly.

Why monthly reconciliation of your bank account is important?

Do you care about your hard earned cash? What would you say if someone else tried to take it away from you? Well, if you don’t monitor your account closely, there are plenty of others willing to do just that. What if the internet connection went down today – do you know how much you have to spend? If not, you risk over-drafting and getting charged more fees. How do you prevent incorrect charges or even outright fraud from impacting your account? How do your track your balance independently?
One word: RECONCILE.
Read on and we will show you how.

How to reconcile your bank account

Now that you understand why it is important to reconcile your bank account, follow one (or all) of the links below to learn how.

Here is a video that talks about “How to reconcile a bank statement”

Tools for managing your money

General Tools for managing your money are available. Here are a few:

For more specific recommendations and some additional free web-based sources, see Kiplinger magazine’s advice here.

Avoiding identity theft

Congratulations! You have made it to the next stage of your life and you are now in college trying to figure out who you are and what you want to be.
Finding your own identity can be difficult enough. Then, after all that hard work, someone tries to steal your identity!
This can be damaging to your personal credit rating, your ability to borrow, and your future career.
Don’t let someone else claim to be you! Read on for valuable identity theft prevention tips.

See this informative NY Times article for great tips on preventing ID theft, and what to do if it happens.