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When you don’t have enough money in your account to cover a bill or other charge and the account goes into the negative, the transaction is left unpaid and you’ll be given a Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) fee. These fees can add up quickly if you’re not checking your account or receiving account notifications. Plus, it can leave your bills unpaid. Here are six ways to avoid overdrawing on your account.

  1. Log into Your Account Daily. Check your balances before making large purchases and be sure you have enough in your accounts to cover upcoming bills.

  2. Set Up Automatic Alerts on Your Account. Automatic alerts let you know when your balance is too low or a bill has been processed. This can help you be more aware of your money.

  3. Review Your Account Statements. Electronic statements make it easy to reconcile your checking and savings accounts. Go line-by-line through your purchases and double check every deposit and withdrawal. You’ll be more in-tune with your money when you know where every penny is going.

  4. Use Credit Cards at Hotels and on Car Rentals. Using a debit card for these types of transactions can quickly deplete your checking balance, cause an overdraft, add fees to your account, and potentially cause the hotel or car rental company to cancel your transaction. That’s because car rentals and hotels often place large holds for possible extra charges.

  5. Choose Overdraft Protection. By linking your checking account to one of your other Rivermark accounts, you can be sure that your bills and other purchases will go through and not returned as NSF. This is called overdraft protection. There are still fees attached, but the possibility of multiple NSF fees stacking up are far less likely.

  6. Add Up Automatic Payments. If you have automatic payments processing in the coming weeks, be sure the money to cover those bills is in your account. More importantly, do not allow your balance to go below that amount to avoid NSF fees and canceled payments.

You’ll find additional financial advice in the Rivermark Financial Wellness center as well as free financial assistance through Balance Financial Fitness. There you can learn about balancing your checkbook and your budget, as well as additional tips on avoiding fees, staying on top of your money, and achieving your financial goals.