Beware that if you have online banking, the balance may not be accurate. I have yet to have it explained to me clearly but lately, in the PM the night before, I had a plus balance and the pending items were some transformed into NSF, despite an incoming automatic deposit.
I was just told "keep better records" and I am becoming increasingly aware that the online balance is only approximate (and computerized banking practices seem to have changed in favor of the bank and getting fees) so I will be much more careful in the future!
By pam munro
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To help keep track of internet banking, I keep a special page in my agenda dedicated to all my banking transactions done online; date, which account, amount, and the reference number. That way I don't need to print them out and have it right beside me ready to use. It does not reveal any pin numbers or full account numbers and so is safe in that regard.
By Bellevillelady from Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Editor's Note: Do you have any tips and tricks for keeping track of online banking and bill pay? Post your advice here.
I use online banking to check our balance every day and also to see what checks or debit card charges have cleared. My husband and I rarely carry cash, so to make sure I deduct the debit card charge from my checkbook, when I make a purchase, I make sure that the receipt goes into my check register at the time of purchase. My husband gives me his receipts at the end of the day. The next morning I can go online and reconcile the checkbook - so I don't have to wait until the monthly statement comes to reconcile.
I have a desk calendar that displays a month at a time on the desk. Some years it is an open-book type that stays open, other years it is the desk pad-type. When I get a bill in, I note it on the calendar on the due date so I can see at a glance what needs to be paid when. For bills that are automatically deducted from our account, I note those payments on those days also. So along with all our appointments for the month, I also have all our bills due. When the bill is paid, I just mark it out on the calendar. That way, if I pay a bill early, it is noted.
I use Quicken on my computer as an extra copy of my checkbook. It is no trouble to enter the information into Quicken from my checkbook. That way, if there ever is a problem, I can do a fast and easy search for the amount if I happen to be "off" in my reconciliation. There have been times when I entered a different amount in Quicken that my checkbook. So in essence, I can check my checkbook, Quicken on my computer and then purchases that have cleared online. It works very well for us.
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Have any ThriftyFun members had good luck with online banking? I'm thinking about enrolling in Bank of America's online bill payment service but have heard some horror stories about it not being safe.