Saturday, May 24, 2014
Debit Cards - If you're like most people you rely on your debit card for your purchases rather than hard cold cash. But beware. If you or the cashier have to swipe the card twice, make sure that you check your account to see that the transaction was processed only once. If your account is charged twice, believe me, it can take 10-21 business days for the bank to get it all straightened out.
Online Banking - If you use online banking do you know the difference between available balance and posted balance? Often times the two numbers are different. The posted balance only shows what has cleared the account; so it's important to not trust the posted balance as the final number. The available balance will show debit transactions outstanding, but again should not be trusted as the final number because it is a computer, after all, and has no idea that you may have written checks that haven't yet cleared. That's why it is so important to reconcile your account. It's not that hard. Just make sure that you don't spend more than you put in or the bank will eat you alive with overdraft fees.
Cash in Hand - After this week's incident I have discovered first hand how easy it is to become frazzled and confused, especially if the cab driver speaks broken English and doesn't have change. Or, if there are impatient customers waiting in line behind you. Just slow down. Breathe. Take your time. Keep your mind on your money and your money in your hand, and you won't fall victim to the flim-flam man.