Create a budget and pay attention to your spending. This will help you keep a cushion in your checking account and avoid a zero balance altogether. Use budgeting software like FinanceWorks, free and coming soon to Merrimack24 Online Banking.
Monitor your balance. Try setting up a balance alert in Online Banking so you receive a notice whenever your balance falls below a certain level. This can help heighten your awareness and keep greater control over unplanned spending. Check your balances: Merrimack24 Online Banking, Telephone Banking, and Merrimack 24 ATMs all provide your balances. However, don’t stop there: be aware of any payments that haven’t cleared yet or upcoming automatic payments. With payments being processed faster than ever before, it is all the more important to monitor your balances and to think about what transactions are still outstanding.
Talk about money with your partner. If you share a checking account with your partner, make sure you talk about your spending decisions on a weekly basis. Avoid the surprise of overdrawing with a small purchase because you were unaware that your spouse decided to do a big grocery shopping for the family a day early.
Take care when mixing credit and debit cards. An accidental use of your debit card when you meant to use your credit card can create trouble if your checking balance is low. If you use your credit card and pay it off each month, try picking the categories the credit will be used for and not switching back and forth.