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Tip 1

Save - Start on the right path by learning how to spend less than you make.
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Pay Yourself First - take an amount out of each paycheck and put it in a savings account.
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Tip 3

Big Purchases - save the money first to avoid credit card debt.
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Debit Cards

Debit Cards

 

Debit cards are resource given to you from your bank when you create a checking account. This is to create simplicity, so that you do not need to have cash or write a check. It is meant to simplify checking out at a store.

Debit cards are great. You go in, pick up what you want, you go to the checkout line and swipe your card, input your pin and you're out of there with a bag or more of new stuff, but it's not really that simple.

Debit cards are not credit cards; they take money out of your checking account each and every time you swipe. It is linked to your bank account. So, if you have $15 in your account and you go buy a t-shirt for $10 using your debit card, a transaction is set to you bank informing them that you bought a shirt for $10 and the bank takes $10 out of your account and gives it to the merchant. You now have $5 in your bank account. See, Simple.

The most important thing to remember when using you debit card is to WATCH your account!!

Two things can happen if you don't keep tabs on your balance.

1. You can buy something that you do not have enough money in your account to afford and the bank can decline that transaction at the register. Can you say embarrassing!

2. If you have overdraft protection, the bank will allow your transaction to go through, but the will charge you a fee of $35 at some banks and more or less at others. This fee is every time you swipe your card without the proper funds in your account.

Now, let's look back to our t-shirt example. Say after you bought the $10 t-shirt and you have $5 in your account, assuming you have not checked your account yet, then your friend calls you and invites you to the movies and you tag along. You go to buy your movie ticket which is $6.50. You luckily have overdraft protection, so no embarrassment, but the movie theater sends a message to the bank saying they want the $6.50 you owe them and the bank sends the $6.50 from your account. Now, remember you only have $5 in your account so the bank covers you for the $1.50 and charges you $35 for having to do so. Now your $6.50 movie ticket turned into a $41.50 movie ticket.
If that's the last time you swipe and you check your account and pay it off within 2 days most back will credit you back that fee, some won't. However, if then you want an $8.00 bag of popcorn there is another overdraft fee and your $8.00 popcorn equals $43.

I don't know about you, but that's an expensive night at the movies and if you don't pay the overdraft fee within a few days of the transaction some banks will tack on another fee for having to wait. So, to avoid this Watch your account, Know your balance, and Swipe Smartly.

DID YOU KNOW???

You can use your debit card as a credit card. The money still comes out of your checking account in the same way as if you say debit, but it doesn't come out of your account until after 2 days. So if you know you're a bit short, swipe as credit and go deposit money to avoid those fees if you can avoid the transaction.

 

Citation:

~"Need to Know: New Regulations for Your Debit and Credit Cards." Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis | Economic Data, Monetary Rates, Economic Education. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 July 2013. 

~Quinn, Jane Bryant. "Automatic Overdraft Protection: Just Say No - CBS News."Breaking News Headlines: Business, Entertainment & World News - CBS News. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 July 2013.