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It Takes Two to Manage Your Accounts

Share the Responsibility of Monitoring your Accounts.

Regularly monitoring your account balances is the single most effective safeguard against letting your finances go awry. Doing this keeps you in control of your financial situation, instead of the other way around.

Regularly monitoring your account balances is the single most effective safeguard against letting your finances go awry. Doing this keeps you in control of your financial situation, instead of the other way around.

While many people today are worried about identity theft or fraud, the fact remains that very few monitor their account balances, which is the single most important method of finding out about identity theft and fraud. Many people think their financial institutions are doing it for them. And while financial institutions do look for unusual account activity, it’s critical that you do your part and carefully monitor your accounts and balances. Doing so can lead to many benefits:

  • Reduced costly fees, such as for overdrafts
  • Protection against fraud
  • Detection of potential errors 

And with technological advances in banking, it’s easier than ever to stay on top of your money. Tools such as online, mobile, telephone and ATM banking allow you to view your account activity in real time. In minutes, you can create and view account statements without waiting for them to arrive by mail.

What to look for.

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (www.fdic.gov), it’s important to keep track of communication from your financial institutions and to monitor your account statements. Whether you do so online or with paper statements, you should be looking for errors as well as fees incurred. You may be incurring account charges without even realizing it. For example, if your financial institution raises the minimum balance required to waive fees and you haven’t paid attention to the communication, you are likely to see fees you might not have expected but could have easily avoided.

The FDIC notes that you should also review your account statements “to identify and dispute unauthorized transactions.” Online banking allows you to quickly and easily review your account activity daily, rather than waiting once a month for statements to arrive in the mail. Consider getting statements electronically too. One of the main benefits of signing up for electronic statements is that your financial institution will notify you electronically when your statement is available, thereby reminding you to review it.

When reviewing your statements, be sure to pay attention to unauthorized debit or ATM card transactions. Although your financial institution may monitor your account for unauthorized transactions, it’s important that you do it as well. After all, no one knows your spending patterns better than you do. If you find a suspicious transaction, report it immediately to your financial institution.

In short, with today’s economic challenges and the increase in fraud and identity theft, you owe it to yourself to take charge of your money by monitoring your accounts and account balances.

For more information on services to help you take greater control of your accounts, stop by or give us a call. We’d be happy to help you make the most of your money by reviewing your account activity, helping you avoid fees and more.

 

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