By Melissa Tosetti
In the last 30 years, the banking industry has come a long way from the days where you had to get to a branch before 5:00 pm on Friday to make a withdrawal. If you were unable to get there, you’d then have to figure out how to make it through the weekend without any cash. There were no debit cards or ATMs to get you through. If you were lucky, you could find a grocery store that would be willing to cash your check.
Now, we live in a wonderful time of technological banking conveniences. To access your money you can:
- Use your debit card.
- Withdraw cash at the ATM.
- Withdraw cash while making other purchases.
- Set Up Automatic Bill Pay.
- Write a check.
- Pay your bills online.
- Pay subscription renewals automatically.
- Etc., etc., etc.
All of these conveniences are great, except when you don’t have a handle on them. It’s so easy for money to be coming and going, mostly going, without you even realizing. It reminds me a lot of the beginning of the cattle drive I do every year with my dad - cows going in every direction before they are properly wrangled and driven to their destination.
So how do you wrangle your money? The only way to stay on top of your account is to track your spending on a daily basis. That includes the bills you pay, the items you purchase with your debit card and anything that is automatically withdrawn from your account. If you’re not tracking what is coming and going, it is too easy to overspend and not have the money there when you really need it.