Maintaining good credit is all about having a good sense of the flow of your money. The money that goes into your account should be able to cover the expenses coming out of your account. In the past, people kept track of accounts with a checking register, but not everyone makes use of that old fashioned system. With access to telephone and online banking, it’s never been easier to stay on top of your accounts.
No matter where you do your banking, make sure that the company offers online banking services. You simply sign up, and access to your account information at the click of a button. Use this to keep track of your account on a daily or weekly basis. In most cases, you can also use an online bill paying system to make your payments. If you’re transferring money between accounts within the same bank, the transfer is almost instantaneous. Online banking will also allow you to see a scanned version of checks that are cashed, so you’ll always remember what you spent your money on. Some banks even have an app that allows you to access your account.
Automatic payments make it easy to stay on top of your bills. When you sign up, you don’t have to worry about making late payments, and the companies report this good behavior to the credit bureaus. Unfortunately, it’s easy to forget about a payment or two and find yourself with your account overdrawn. To stay on top of this, try to schedule your payments around the time your paychecks come in. For example, if you get paid on the 15th and the last day of the month, plan for the rent or mortgage payment to come out on the first of the month, and maybe plan to pay the electric bill or your credit card on the 15th.
Of course, things get more complicated when you have several different accounts from different companies. When this happens, consider using a budgeting program, such as Quicken, YouNeedABudget.com or Mint.com. You could also check with getting a merchant account check 21 for your credit cards. A check 21 processor will keep track of your credit purchases and payments. These sites allow you to log in and see all of your accounts in one place. Best of all, they’ll also show you which types of categories you’re spending your money in so that you can get better at planning your finances.
Banking is easy when you make an effort to stay on top of things. Plan to spend a bit of time each day reviewing your finances so that you’ll always know where you stand.
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