When it comes to managing your money, the latest technology often allows you to set it and forget it. Whether it’s automatic bill pay and transfers, paperless statements and reminders, you may forget to regularly check in on your spending habits via monthly statements and transaction histories.
So once you get that notification that your bank or credit card statement is ready, don’t just ignore it. Take a few minutes to look through your recent transactions and note any of the following activity:
Large or Suspicious Transactions
The number one reason you need to regularly review your spending history is to catch fraudulent behavior before it becomes a larger problem. Any unusually large or odd transactions (places you don’t normally shop at, or purchases made outside your general location) are immediate red flags to double check. Even if these types of transactions are made by someone you share an account with, such as a partner or child, if they’re outside your budget, it means it’s time to discuss your collective spending habits together so you can stay on track.
Fees & Interest
At some point during your financial journey, you’ll likely be hit with a late fee or gain a bit of interest here and there; it happens. But those fees can really add up and hinder your savings goals if they start to get out of hand. If it starts to make a noticeable impact on your monthly expenses, it may be time to adjust your spending habits to pay bills on time or adjust your goals to either pay off whatever debt that’s resulting in excess fees and interest.
Recurring Transactions or Subscriptions
In the era of streaming services and monthly subscriptions, it’s becoming an all-too-common problem that consumers are either forgetting to cancel these services or signing up for too many of them. These costs can also really add up month-to-month and impact your goals. When looking at your spending history, add up and make note of all of your recurring transactions; you may be surprised of how much you’re spending here. Canceling what you no longer need can free up some extra cash.
Finally, each month, you’ll want to reexamine areas of high spending to see where you can cut back. Whether you find you made too many Amazon purchases last month or your daily lunch order is adding up, tracking your spending by category can help you make impactful changes to your routine that can help you reach your savings goals.
Regularly checking in on your monthly statements or transaction history is a good habit to develop. Not only does it help you notice spending patterns and make positive steps toward improving them, but it can help you keep an eye on any potential fraud. Luckily, USB’s Spending Insights can make tracking your spending even easier, as it’s done automatically within the USB Mobile App. Download the app today to get started.
Learn more about Spending Insights here. You can also stop by any of our branches and speak with a friendly, knowledgeable banker to help you start a savings and budgeting plan today – find a branch.