Ins and outs: the benefits of checking your bank account balance
01 January 2022
When it comes to keeping their finances in order, people can span the spectrum – from the “tidy desk” types who zealously check their bank account balance every day, to the “messy desk” types who go down the head-in-the-sand route and don’t look at it for months.
You could argue that neither extreme is ideal. When it comes to your finances, it’s a good idea to strike a happy medium. Daily check-ins aren’t necessary for everyone, so a good rule of thumb is to check in at least once a week to monitor things like:
- Whether you’re overspending
It’s easy to get excited once your pay lands in your account. Eating out at your favourite restaurant and splurging on online sales can be a lot of fun, but moderation should play a role in your budget too. Checking your bank account regularly can help you to see when you’re getting a little too carried away and keep your impulse purchases from taking priority over more important costs, such as your electricity or phone bill.
While it’s uncommon, being accidentally charged for something twice can happen, and keeping an eye on your account can help you spot when you’ve been mistakenly double-charged. If this does happen be sure to reach out to your bank immediately to ask them to investigate.
Using a digital wallet to make your purchases from your smartphone can also help you keep on top of recent transactions. When completing a purchase with your digital wallet you’ll get a summary of basic transaction details like the merchant name, amount, time and location of the purchase presented on your smartphone at the time of sale. Practically this means if the amount is slightly more than you were expecting you’re more likely to challenge it on the spot before leaving the store than if you were to get home and check your bank account or the sales receipt at a later date.
Suncorp Bank’s Everyday Options Account supports digital wallets with easy set-up directly from the Suncorp App.
- Unnecessary fees
Fees all add up, even the little ones. Look for a bank account that has no monthly account keeping fees as a start. Even if it’s only $5 a month that’s $60 a year that could be in your pocket. Next look at how you spend. Do you use ATMs a lot or are you more likely to use your debit card for in-store purchases and online shopping?
Suncorp Bank’s Everyday Options Account has no monthly account keeping fees and no foreign currency conversion fees on Visa Debit purchases1 when you shop overseas or on foreign sites online. And there’s no minimum balance or spend requirement to get these benefits so that means less time worrying about fees.
- Fraudulent transactions
There are a few different ways that cybercriminals can obtain your details to perform payment fraud, including identity theft and phishing scams. Often, fraudulent transactions are made in multiple small amounts with the aim of going undetected. Frequently monitoring your accounts will help you to spot anything suspicious and notify your bank as quickly as possible. Click here for more tips on staying safe online.
A handy self-service feature offered by Suncorp Bank through the Suncorp App and Internet Banking is the ability to set card controls on your Visa Debit card. If you rarely travel abroad you may like to restrict your card to only be used in Australia or if you don’t shop online, you can restrict all transactions made online, or over the phone, including all recurring subscriptions. The feature also allows you to temporarily lock your card if it’s been temporarily misplaced while you look for it. If it has gotten into the wrong hands and is used at an ATM while locked it will be immediately withheld. These security settings are available to all Visa Debit cardholders and can be locked or unlocked by the cardholder at any time.
Ways to keep track of your finances
There are a number of ways you can keep track of your finances with minimum fuss.
1. Bucket your money
If you’re more of a “set and forget” kind of person - or even if you’re not - one of the best ways to keep track of your money each month is to split it into buckets. Bucketing involves separating your money for different purposes. For example, you may have money separately allocated for rent, bills, groceries and going out.
With our Everyday Options Account you’ll get a main account with debit card access1 for your everyday spending and you can choose to add up to nine sub-accounts2. And if you set up automatic transfers to move money into your sub-accounts each pay day for things like bills and spending, you’re far more likely to feel in control of your money and on top of budgeting.
2. Set up direct debits
As well as setting up automatic transfers into your sub-accounts, having automatic direct debits out of those accounts will mean you reduce the risk of a late fee. With everything set up, you can rest easy knowing that your phone bills, utility bills or car payments are taken care of, saving yourself the time and hassle of organising your payments every month.
3. Download the Suncorp App
Do your banking on the go with the Suncorp App. If you have an Everyday Options Account you can use the app to access and monitor your account balances, pay bills and set up regular transfers.
Ready to keep your account balance in check?
Staying on top of your finances doesn’t require an accounting degree. With the right bank account, you can have a much clearer overview of how and where your money is moving, which can make planning much simpler.
If you have any questions or want to learn more about how an Everyday Options Account could potentially work for you, feel free to get in touch with us today.
- Bucketing your money to help organise your saving and spending
- How the 70:20:10 budget rule can help you get your money on track
- How financially literate are you?
The information presented in this article is accurate as of November 1, 2021 and is subject to change.
The information is intended to be of general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.
Deposit products issued by Suncorp-Metway Ltd ABN 66 010 831 722 (“Suncorp Bank”). Terms and fees apply. Read the relevant product disclosure documents before deciding. Go to www.suncorp.com.au/everyday for a copy. Any advice does not take into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.
1. Visa Debit Card holders must be 16 years or older. No card access with sub-accounts.
2. You must hold an Everyday Options main account to open an Everyday Options sub-account (add up to nine).