young couple happily avoids overdraft charges by following best practices from gate city bank

Tips for Avoiding Overdraft Charges

If you’ve ever overdrawn your checking account (in other words, you’ve “bounced a check”), you’re more than aware it can be a hassle. And a costly one, at that! Check out these helpful tips to avoid pesky overdraft charges.

It’s incredibly important to always keep track of how much you spend – whether it’s shopping with your debit card, using an ATM or writing checks – to help avoid overspending on your account. An overdrawn account happens when you spend more money than you have in your account, which can result in costly overdraft related fees. We’ve brought together a few of our best tips to help you avoid overspending:

  • Always watch your spending.

    With online and mobile banking, you can regularly check your account balance and transfer funds as needed. You can also set up alerts to let you know when your balance falls below a certain level. When that happens, you’ll know it’s either time to stop spending or to put more money in your account.

  • Keep a record of your expenses.

    Track all payments via spreadsheet, on paper or with daily check-ins to your online account balance(s). That includes spending via check, debit card, ATM or any automatic payments you’ve set up, as well as any monthly account charges. The idea is to balance your expenses with how much money is in your account.

Pro Tip:

This practice also helps identify any fraudulent or unplanned expenses on your account to keep you the most up to date and in the know.

  • Utilize direct deposit.

    Having your paycheck deposited directly into your account helps ensure that you know exactly when money will be available, rather than having to remember to go to a branch to deposit a paper check.

Pro Tip:

Early paydays1 (like those available with Payday Your Way at Gate City Bank) help your direct deposits show up in your account up to two days early!

  • Keep a “hidden” cushion.

    Some experts recommend that you keep an extra $100 (or more) in your account with no intent of spending it. That way, if you accidentally overspend, that cushion might save you from an overdraft. The challenge with this practice is actually keeping it in your account.

We’d love for you to stop in and talk to us about the best ways to help track your spending, or about other options to protect yourself and save money. We’re here to help, however we can!

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1 Early paydays! Isn’t that neat? Your funds will generally be accessible the same day we receive a deposit notice from your payer, up to two days earlier than your scheduled payment. Direct deposit is required, and early access is subject to the payer’s timing in submitting funds.