If you’ve ever had a time when your finances were not in the best shape, it’s possible you’ve felt a deep fear when you think about checking your bank account balance. Many people know about that sinking sensation. They’re worried that, when they check, they’ll find that they’ve overdrafted. While this kind of trepidation makes sense, there is good reason to check your financial accounts daily, even your credit and brokerage accounts. Here are some of the ways that this constant vigilance can help people on all points of the financial spectrum.
- You’ll Uncover Unknown Fees and Expenses. Most people spend more than they think they do. When you start to put your finances under daily scrutiny, you’ll start to catch these unknown money wastages. They come from a lot of sources. Perhaps you subscribed to online content, which you no longer use despite the monthly bill still being automatically drafted from your account. You might also detect fraud, as so many people in Britain did with PPI. A PPI claim is being sent out by the thousands, because consumers discovered they had been signed up for payment protection insurance without their knowledge, in the enormous documentation associated with home and auto loans.
- You’ll Find Buying Opportunities. For investors, it’s important not to try to time the market without a lot of experience and knowledge. On the other hand, some of the best buying opportunities happen when the markets are in turmoil and everybody else seems to be selling. If you monitor your brokerage accounts daily, you can spot moments of panic. In a sudden drop of the market, you can essentially buy more of your fund of choice at a discounted price. If you otherwise make contributions at regular intervals, buying during bear markets is a great savings opportunity, possible only when you’re watching.
- You Can Keep Your Budget. People don’t keep up with their budgets because they don’t watch their finances every day. If you get in the habit of daily monitoring the money you spend, you’ll be much more likely to stay within the bounds of your budget. Once your budget is locked in, you’ll be saving more, investing more, and eliminating debt at a much greater rate. Budgeting is a wonderful thing, when we do it. But people who don’t have daily awareness of where their money is going can’t possibly stick to the parameters they’ve set up for themselves. Check your accounts and your budget will be more successful!
There are a lot of reasons to manage your personal financial accounts every single day. When you keep an eye on their behaviors, nothing is going to escape your watch. You’ll have fewer negative surprises, and you’ll be able to make more realistic and more successful plans for the future. Get in the habit now, and you’ll be seeing benefits for many years to come.