Things happen… especially when it comes to managing your financial accounts. However, if you aren’t careful, periodic Overdraft Privilege (ODP) fees and Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) fees can become costly over time. The good news is, they don’t have to be.
Here are some helpful tips for avoiding them and using the service wisely:
Build an emergency fund by paying yourself first. It doesn’t take a lot of money to get started. By putting aside an extra $10 or $20 here and there in your Credit Union savings account, you can build a cushion for those unexpected expenses that may come your way. Our Save To Prosper™ account is a good tool to help build savings.
Recognize that it is in place for your protection. Overdraft Privilege is designed to serve as a safety net for you, not additional money for spending. St. Louis Community Credit Union charges $18, while many institutions charge $30 or more. Please know fees can add up. We prefer you not use it, but if you do, we recommend that you use this service wisely and sparingly.
Monitor your spending. It’s always a good practice to track what you have to work with – what you owe vs. what you earn. Go “old school” and use a check register to write down what you spend and where. If not, consider monitoring your spending by signing up for Online and/or Mobile Banking. It’s a free, fast and safe way to manage your money. You can also sign up for free text alerts – a service that will inform you if your checking account gets lower than you expect.
Use direct deposit and avoid holds on paper checks. By taking advantage of direct deposit, you can help ensure that funds hit your account in a timely manner. This service is free and can prevent you from scrambling to make it into your local Credit Union branch to deposit a paper check before an urgent bill is due.
Set a budget that works for you. Make a list of your monthly obligations and find out where your money is actually going. This way, you can identify those spending leaks and find ways to avoid them. You don’t have to do this alone. We offer free classes and one-on-one coaching on budgeting and financial management at the Excel Center® (our destination point for financial empowerment). It’s part of our overall giveback to the community.
Seek financial assistance. If you are having trouble making ends meet and can’t use the Excel Center for coaching, consider seeking financial help through our BALANCESM Financial Fitness Program. Call 1-888-456-2227 to reach a BALANCE counselor.
Get help today!
Put your money to work for you instead of the other way around. You owe it to yourself to do so. For more information (or to set up a one-on-one financial coaching session), contact the Excel Center at (314) 256-3995 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.