Skip to main content

Register


$
11
 REGISTER

I
f you are not one to understand detailed facts let me just head off all I’m about to say with one simple rule to avoid overdrafts for the rest of your life. The bottom line is this: keep a separate written record and don’t spend more than you have. Now for those who need more let’s take a deeper look at that statement. 

~Record~
A separate written record is one in which you write everything down from the largest payment to the smallest cup of soda. Using your online banking, as great a tool as it is does not excuse you from keeping a record separate from the bank. You can use paper and pen, or a software program like Quicken, or even build your own excel sheet. If you do use Quicken I don’t advise downloading your history, input all the data manually. Downloading data can make it harder to catch fraudulent transactions. More than one person has called their bank about a small transaction only to find out it’s been coming out for two years or more without their knowledge.

However you do it, you must track the transactions going in and out of your account separate from the bank. This is the only way to know for sure that no fraud is going on and find out what your balance is. The bank doesn't know your balance. There are many reasons why your real balance may not be the same as the balance showing online. Online (or at the ATM, 800 Number, or any other bank record) only reflects that which the bank has received not everything you have done. Even card transactions do not always come through right away. I actually heard someone once say totally serious: “How could I be overdrawn? I still have checks.” This is a humorous but true example of a total lack of understanding how money and math works. This person should not have a bank account, or even handle money. They should have someone take care of things for them.

~How?~
Keeping a record does take work. One of the first things you must understand; just because you deposit a check into the bank doesn’t mean it’s available to use. Checks usually have to post to the account before you can use them. Also, checks may have holds placed on them, or even be returned as no good. If you have any doubt that the check you put in is good, wait a full three weeks before using the funds. That is how long it can take for a bank to find out that the check was no good (Yes even in 2011). That being said the first step, assuming that you start with a zero balance, is to input your deposits. You should not spend what you do not have.

~Available Balance~
            What is my ledger balance VS my available balance?

When items post the result is a balance of some kind. This is called your “Ledger Balance” also known as your balance as of the last business day. It is the ending balance including everything that has officially posted but not the balance including any pending transactions (those that have not yet posted).

            Your available balance is the Ledger Balance adding/subtracting anything showing as pending. As we said with checks there are instances where a deposit that is pending is not part of the available balance either. Unless the deposit was electronic it won’t usually be available until it has posted. There are also lots of ways for your card transactions to not always show as pending all the time. Sometimes transactions especially card transactions may double or triple pend, pend for wrong amounts (more or less), pend for several days, then disappear and post at a later date.

Therefore always check your balance on a separate written record where you write everything down and add and subtract as you go. Not only is this a good idea, you are required to according to the bank in your disclosures. Calling for your balance, going online, ATM, or in any other way contacting your bank for your balance is not a replacement for a written record. If you contact the bank for your balance assume it’s wrong!

            Always look to your own records for up to date information. If you don’t know your balance without contacting the bank, than no-one does especially the bank.

~Fees~
            Overdraft fees are awful, high, outrageous, expensive, and… well you get the point. You know they are awful. I once had one item go through my account and cause several items to post into overdraft causing, more items to post into a negative balance and so forth. I paid over $450 just in fees that one month. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t have $450 to spend on fees, so it put me behind months.

            Do you know who was to blame for that overdraft causing $450 in fees though? The Bank? The President? The Congress? No. It was me. I set up the payment and agreed to have it auto deducted. I failed to account for it in my balancing. I did it, knowing full well the fees that could come if the balance was not there for it when it came. Therefore I am the only person to blame. The sooner you get a hold of that reality the sooner you can take action to prevent another fee on your account.

~Winds of Change~
On July 21st of 2010 a banking regulation was singed into law by president Obama. It is called the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act[1]. Immediately following this acts’ passing banks were limited to how many overdraft fees could be charged per day and how they could approve and post items that could cause fees. Each bank drafted new policies around this regulation. Those two changes were only the beginning. As of the beginning of 2011 there are still 900 laws that still haven’t been written from the stipulations of that act. The financial picture is changing. Banks are being restricted and so are the free services. What does this mean to you and your overdrafts? It may be a small bit harder to get a fee, but a great deal harder to ask the bank to reverse it.

~Accounting 101~
            The only sure fire way to avoid an overdraft fee is… drum roll please… to not overdraw. I know, magic right? Allow me to review accounting 101. Anyone can do this.

            The correct way to use your account is to make a deposit (or add money) to your account. Then make withdrawals less than or equal to the amount deposited including any fees or charges.

Your Record
Date
Transaction
Amount
Balance
Monday
Open Account
X
X
Monday
Deposit
100
100
Monday
Check # 99
-60
40
Tuesday
Card Purchase  3pm
-3.5
36.5

            So now the balance is $36.50. However in the real world most people don’t do things the way they are supposed to. The banks post items according to regulations. Your bank isn't making these rules, people in the Federal and State Governments are. Even different states may do things differently. Generally what happens is someone gets to the point above and then writes a check on Thursday expecting that the check won’t come through until the direct deposit comes in Friday. 

Usually this works but since companies have so many convenient electronic ways of clearing checks it could come in on Thursday.

Your Record
Date
Transaction
Amount
Balance
Monday
Open Account
X
X
Monday
Deposit
100
100
Monday
Check # 99
-60
40
Tuesday
Card Purchase  3pm
-3.5
36.5
Thursday
Check # 100
-120
-83.5
Friday
Overdraft Fee
-40
-123.5
Friday
Direct Deposit
200
76.5

This causes an overdraft. Some banks can take your check, and clear your other bank on the same day. So you now understand how this happens. What if you are already in the middle of this? What if you are overdrawn so often you can’t see how to get out of the cycle? What do you do now if you are overdrawn right now? Turn to the next chapter for help.  

Comments

Connect With Me

Popular posts from this blog

An Open Letter: John Stumpf, Wells Fargo Board, and Policy Making Departments

On 12/28/13, I wrote the following letter to the then CEO & President of Wells Fargo, John Stumpf. It was in part, a response to the LA Times Article and the poor response from Wells Fargo leadership.

I later worked for the executive office and saw how they handle these letters. They assign them to a paper-pusher who could care less. They draft a form response, and it gets tallied in the statistics.

By the time it makes it to the CEO, it's only data in a pie chart. "We had 365 complaints this month. x number of complaints about checking, y number about sales practices, Etc." They tally it up, if it's not a big enough stat, it gets zero attention. Most things that do require attention get just enough to make it go away, but never deal with the root.

I was one of many hundreds who spoke up loudly and actively for years before 2013 and years after. The news cycle of 2016 showed that it cost them $185 Million dollars to ignore the feedback their frontline Team Membe…

New Post at Wolfe for Office

I wrote a new post: I am a Conservative-Liberal | Republicans and Democrats are actually the same party, here's why I'm a #ChristianLibertarian







Darrell G. Wolfe

Story Teller | INFJ | Futuristic | Intellection | Learner | Ideation | Achiever | Command | Input | Focus | Multipotentialite

White Nose | Scene 3

The Aleve took effect with the help of two breakfast whiskey sours. It had been three days since his tussle in town and he still couldn't sleep, despite the nighttime cocktail.
Beams of light broke through the trees outlining Ash's house, tucked back off of the main road by a mile long rock driveway. One such beam was tanning his pale country face as he rocked on an old wooden chair he'd carved himself. Whittling was one of his most relaxing and profitable talents.
One look in the mirror each summer reminded him that he only retained two colors, pale Irish freckle and redneck red. Ash was careful to avoid too much contact with summer's star.
Dust down the drive revealed the presence of a visitor before the sound of tires on gravel confirmed it. Ash hasn't been visited by more than three people in the eight years he'd been back in town, so he picked up the hunting rifle, just in case.
The scope showed the local sheriff, his friend Dan. He didn't usually com…

Writers Block - How do you write when you don't know what to write?

So, I recently had a comment on this blog. I'm not sure if it's ligit but I think that it's a question a lot of writers ask:


"... I was curious to find out how you center yourself and cⅼear your tһoughts before writіng. I have had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out. I truly dߋ take pleasurе in writing, however, it just seems like the fіrѕt 10 to 15 minutes is wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips? Appгеciate іt!" AnonymousJuly 1, 2017 at 4:31 PM


The way this is phrase means that this is either a spam comment or it's just a google translate comment. Not sure. Nevertheless, it's a good question.

Having a mind that is clear isn't necessary for writing. Writing requires thoughts. My professor once said: "Throw up on the page, we can clean it up afterward". And that's done wonders for me. If you are going to write, just start. You could end up with something so long and winding that you…

Topos Transitions

Transitions are rough. I've been through many seasons of my life where I had to make a transition. At each and every stage it was tough. There are always things you miss about the last season, things you are hoping for in the next season, and things you can't wait to be rid of in the season you're leaving behind.Whether you are sensing the winds of change blowing you out of your current situation, you are in the middle of the trip, or the winds are at your back and you settling in to your new spot... Remember this word: ToposTopos is a Greek word and it essentially means:Your strategic position of opportunity and influence.Make your Topos count today, wherever you are.Darrell




Raindrop Dance

Raindrops dance all over my brain. A million tiny electrical signals buzzing just under my skull. A warm buzzing lays on my brain like a blanket after a cold winter awakening.

Valley Seasons Church Notes

Pastor JO

Heart Of The City Church
June 10, 2017
====================================
Mountains, Valleys & Plains Part 2
null
http://bible.com/events/230949
====================================
• You have to learn to live with and in the valleys.

II Corinthians 11:23-27 NKJV
Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my  own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—
http://bible.com/114/2co.11.23-27.N…

What is a Topos? A strategic position of opportunity and influence

What does Topos mean?Topos is a Greek word meaning: "Place, or Opportunity"
Properly:Any portion of space marked off, as it were, from surrounding, space Metaphorically: The condition or station held by one in any company or assemblyopportunity, power, occasion for actingA spot (general in space, but limited by occupancy; whereas chora is a large but participle locality). As used by me: Topos is a strategic position of opportunity and influence
Topos: Your Calling Everyone has a God given calling on this earth. There is something you were created and designed to do. What you are doing now may be "The Calling"; or, it may be the calling for this season of your life. Either way, you are either in your Topos, or you need to find it.

As you read the stories of biblical heros like Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Nehemiah, Peter, and Paul... etc... you find that God put them in the right place to do the right thing at the right time.

They ended up in their Topos, …

I Hate My Birthday... Is that wrong?

“Let the day on which I was born perish, And the night which announced: ‘There is a man-child conceived.’ JOB 3:3 AMPhttp://bible.com/1588/job.3.3.AMP
It sounds melodramatic when I read Job say it; however, this has basically been my complaint for as long as I can remember. Job 3 shows an entire chapter of him wishing he was never born and cursing his birthday. I've always hated my birthday too, often telling people to keep me off of birthday celebration lists and calendars. I've made due with life but wished I'd have left it long ago... That hasn't changed but I'm starting to get the sense that shell is cracking. Maybe, just maybe, I won't hate and despise my birthday in the future, maybe I'll learn to accept that I'm here on Earth and be happy about it? That sounds like a stretch right now. Right now I'm just content with being in a place where I'm feeling maybe being alive isn't all bad... That's a huge step up from my past 36.5 years.…

The Dreaded Register | Preventing overdrafts, by actually knowing your balance... the real balance.

You CAN avoid ever paying an overdraft fee, for the rest of your life... with this easy step:
If you are not one to understand detailed facts let me just head off all I’m about to say with one simple rule to avoid overdrafts for the rest of your life. 
The bottom line is this: keep a separate written record and don’t spend more than you have.
Now for those who need more let’s take a deeper look at that statement. 

~Record~
A separate written record is one in which you write everything down from the largest payment to the smallest cup of soda. Using your online banking, as great a tool as it is does not excuse you from keeping a record separate from the bank. You can use paper and pen, or a software program like Quicken, or even build your own excel sheet. If you do use Quicken I don’t advise downloading your history, input all the data manually. 
Downloading data can make it harder to catch fraudulent transactions. More than one person has called their bank about a small transaction only t…

About Me

My photo

Hi! My name is Darrell G. Wolfe. I am a wealth of random information and I make complicated things simple at DarrellWolfe.com.

I have a knack for absorbing information, breaking it down to its root elements, and teaching it to others.

Most importantly, I help purpose-driven people to understand their place in His-Story and provide them the tools they need to fulfill their unique position of opportunity and influence in this world (their Topos).