In recent years, I never trusted my bank account statements. Even when the ATM machine showed the amount of money available, I still didn’t trust it. Whenever I did a bank account transaction, I always wrote it down.Whether it’s a withdrawal, transferring money from one account to another or depositing money, I still wrote the transaction down. This is how I kept track of how much money is actually available.
Why did I usually choose this route? The following story illustrates why.
Some days back, a local bar inconvenienced many of its patrons. After looking at their bank statements, patrons saw overdrafts.
The following explains what went down. Let’s say you bought some beers with a debit or credit card. I don’t drink. So with me, it was always food I purchased with my debit card. When using a debit or credit card, the money isn’t always taken out right away. It’s pending, meaning the transaction is in process but isn’t completed yet.
For over a month, the local bar didn’t finish debit or card transactions. In other words, money wasn’t taken out of patrons’ accounts yet. So, when the local bar finally finished the transactions, money was eventually taken out.
During this time, I got lazy tracking my checking account transactions. I was relying on what the ATM said my balance was. After finding out the local bar’s screw-up and the effects on patrons’ accounts, I decided to check my own bank account. After doing that, I found out my checking account was negative ten bucks. Luckily, I had the money in my savings to cover it.
If I hadn’t been tracking my account on my own and always relied on bank statements, my negative statement would have been worse than ten bucks. Some patrons have said they were screwed out of more than a hundred bucks. Some have said even higher. Also, imagine the overdraft charges.
Speaking of overdrafts, I don’t know if this practice still exists. Yet, banks are known to rearrange transactions in order to get the highest overdraft from you.
Let me borrow from cw33.com:
“There’s $100 in your account, with charges for $75, $25, and $125 all coming through on the same day and in that order. Now, if the $75 charge and $25 charge clear first, your balance will be $0 and you will only overdraft when the $125 charge hits. But, if the bank shuffles around the transactions so the $125 charge hits first, your account immediately goes into a negative balance. The remaining two transactions ($75 and $25) will then both incur overdraft fees.”
In 2016, that practice gained America’s three biggest banks $6.4 billion dollars. Overdraft fees are big business.
For the record, the owner of the local bar apologized for the screw-up. Because he is always nice to patrons, I accept his apology as being sincere. Also, he didn’t point the blame at other people. He accepted all responsibilities, the sign of a true leader.
Still, despite the bar’s screw-ups, this story explains why folks need to track their own transactions and don’t rely on bank statements. Blame the bar all you want. Still, like a friend told me, it’s up to you to keep track of your account.
I guess this would apply to credit card accounts too. Yet, I no longer deal with credit cards. So, I couldn’t tell readers anything about that.
Seeing that I am a person who posts booty pics both on my blogs and Facebook page, some folks may not take me seriously. Yea, who the heck is the booty pics guy to tell people how to handle money? That’s cool. Folks don’t have to take my word for it. Then, again, I didn’t overdraft a hundred bucks or higher, now did I?