5 Ways to Budget Using a Bank Account

Your bank account is more than a place to store your money; it can also help you control your spending.

If you have trouble sticking with a monthly budget, a solution may be turning to your bank account.

Whether your financial goal is to prioritize expenses, save more, or curb bad spending habits, budgeting using your bank account has many advantages.

Use automatic transfers to set aside money for essentials

You can set aside money for necessities like mortgage or rent payments and utilities by moving cash into a savings account. You can then schedule an automatic transfer to move it back into your checking account when payments are due to be taken out.

If you consider taking advantage of this type of safeguard, users should check how many transfers can be made per month without incurring a transfer fee. Some accounts have limits, while others currently allow unlimited withdrawals, including transfers, per month.

Intentionally keep your checking balance low

One way to combat overspending is to put your money out of sight. Keeping a low checking account balance helps put temptation on hold and makes it more likely to stick to the budget.

Having just enough money readily accessible can easily cover what is needed without going over and above the budget. If you decide to keep a low balance, ensure that your banking institution does not have overdraft fees if you spend more than you intended.

Turn on balance alerts

Some banks have balance alerts in place to notify you if your balance gets low. With this safeguard in place, you will have a heads up when considering purchases, providing an incentive to stick to the budget.

Many institutions offer alerts by email, text, or by notification through your bank’s app. Many banks also provide signals and track spending based on categories.

You can set monthly limits for spending in categories, such as dining out or personal care. You will then be alerted when you approach your spending limit.

Keep checking and savings account in different banks

Keeping your accounts at different banks to only view one account at a time can also help limit spending. When checking and savings accounts are held in the exact location, you might consider it part of the spending budget.

Keeping accounts at different banks makes it more difficult to quickly transfer from savings to checking, thus limiting spending.

Split money into different checking accounts

One way to keep your checking account balance low is to split it into two accounts. One account should be used for recurring expenses such as gas, electricity, or housing. The second account can be used for discretionary spending — nonessential expenditures but still valuable and essential.

By splitting the money into two versions, you will know exactly how much is available for discretionary spending during the month.

Test Your Financial Advisor’s Loyalty with These Simple Questions

You have a financial advisor in order to make certain you have budgeted your money correctly, have planned for future financial needs, and, in some cases, to turn some of

Sell Puts the Smart Way: Get Out Before Expiration Nears

Selling put options can be a great way to help increase the value of your portfolio without taking on too much risk. At its core, a put sale allows investors

refinancing

4 Pros and 1 Con of Refinancing Your Home

Two years ago the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.6%. Today it is 2.9%. If your mortgage is in the high threes, you should consider refinancing. Refinancing would lower your

Easy Finance Tip: How to Calculate Your Net Worth

To calculate your net worth, just subtract your liabilities (what you owe) from your assets (what you own). While the equation is simple, it's important to get a snapshot of

Just a Few Bad Market Years Can Slam Your Retirement: How to Cut Your Risk

I believe one very underappreciated risk for investors preparing for retirement is the concept of “sequence of returns.” Sequence of return risk is the danger that the timing of withdrawals

Tai Chi Can Benefits for Those with Chronic Diseases

The Chinese martial art of tai chi can be beneficial to people suffering with chronic illnesses, according to research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (2015), conducted by Dr.

Two Measures of Options Volatility That Matter

Most people often have a notion of what volatility means. They understand, at least conceptually, that it has to do with data of situations that vary over time. Weather is

3 Financial Habits to Adopt Before You Retire

Nobody wants to work until the day they die. We all want to get to a point where we can simply sit down, relax, and enjoy life.  Consider adopting these

11 Ways Eating Limes Can Protect Your Eyes, Heart, Joints and More

Most of us hear lime and think Corona beer or ceviche. Surprisingly, this little bright green fruit has many excellent benefits for your health and wellness. Limes are often overlooked

Why You Should Take Social Security Early and Invest

Social Security is a government program, so it is unnecessarily complicated. Working or retired? Married or divorced or both? Disabled? Private or public employer? All these factors affect your Social

5 Benefits of Opening a Health Savings Account

The tax advantages of a healthcare savings account are like those of a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA, or a 529 college savings plan. The account can be used like

A Simple, Easy Way to Lower Your Blood Pressure

According to the American Diabetes Association, one in three Americans have high blood pressure, and this condition may lead to other chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. There are