Monday, June 9, 2008

Ski Mask Way (Rambling Man)

I just felt that I needed to say this to as many people as possible so hopefully it may make at least one person think twice.

Please Stop Using Your Debit Cards So Much!!!!

Unless you are someone who keeps every receipt from every purchase that you make, it's best to just go to the atm and take more than enough money to get you through the day. It's much easier to keep tracked of one receipt than every receipt for ever purchase that you made throughout the day. Are you really going to hold onto that receipt for that frappachino that you copped this morning until you get home at night? If you are that dilligent that you balance your check book everynight (checking your balance online doesn't count, more on this later), great! But, most of you aren't that dilligent about it. Hell, I'm pretty damn good with mine and I don't do it everyday, but I only have a couple of atm receipts to stuff in my check book until I do get to it later in the week. :)

I can already hear you saying, "I hate carrying cash!" I never really understood this line of thinking. You can lose a debit card, which can give someone access to your whole account or you can lose however much you have on you at that particular time. I don't know of a single person or place that will not take cash, but I know more than a few places that don't take debit or credit cards.

If you are one of those people that keep their balance strictly online with your bank, you need to remember one very important detail . . . the balance on the bank's site can only take into account the transactions they are aware of. Those balances are never true. If you wrote a check that has not gotten back to them, that's not included in your balance. If you made a card transaction and the merchant for whatever reason hasn't taken the funds from your account yet, that's not included. The only true balance you can keep is the one you keep at home. You can use atm balances, online balances and phone balances to HELP you, but they can and will not replace breaking out the pen and calculator and keeping tracked of things at home. You can use those other things to see if something has cleared, but you can't go by those balances from the bank. They are changing around the clock. Things are posting to your account under Monday's date as late as 7am Tuesday morning. Some places take that long to process.

If you aren't one of the many of use who are living check to check, then go crazy with the card. Hell, receipts are just wallpaper to you, but for those of us who are getting by, forgetting just one transaction can lead to tons of overdraft fees. Plus, since many banks charge overdraft fees per negative transaction that's another reason to not use your debit card for lots of small transactions. If you are close to zero in your account do you really want to get hit with a $35 fee for a McFlurry, putting a few bucks in your tank & a pack of Cools? That's $105 in fees!!! One atm withdrawal for say $100 will just be one fee typically. Banks are typically going to take your largest transaction first so more than likely when you overdraft your account you are getting fees for the smaller transactions that you make.

And I shall leave you with this . . .


B.J.S.301 said...

Thanks for that little tidbit. Very useful stuff. Banks do charge you way too much for little stuff. Only thing I hate is that there aren't enough cheap ATMs or ATMs that give you the option of getting $5 or $10 from your account. Sucks like hell being broke.

Unknown said...

If you use online banking to pay your bills your checks will clear right away (the day you set for them to be paid). I know every bill can't be paid by online (personally I pay my taxes with a check)but, the majority can.

Besides, I think people should use common sense and it has nothing to do with a debit card. People will use their debit card or take money from an ATM knowing darn well they don't have but eight dollrs in the bank. Then these are the same people to complain. People must learn to manage money and live on budget.
If you got bills to pay don't go to McDonald's.
I'm a mother of two and I am far from wealthy.

Lena said...

amen, B. (even tho I use my debit card for pretty much everything & hardly ever balance it all in my check book lol)

Unknown said...

Well, The True Urban Queen, unfortunately common sense has become a whole lot less common for some reason. But, debit cards do play a large part in it. Many times it is just someone spending more than they have on purpose, but many times people just will flat out forget about a card transaction that they made. People use their debit cards so frequently that it's easy to lose track of a transaction unless they keep every receipt.

emti said...

thanks this was very helpful...especially in these times!

Krishna Benjamin said...

Being broke is a sin and the banks are the devils....i HATE sur charges!