If you’re like me, this week, you’ll probably feel the same thankful I-don’t-need-to-shop-this-much-again-for-another-year sigh of relief. Even after the year-end holidays are over, you may still see the ghosts from all your purchases on the bank statement. This is especially true if you have overspent and have to deal with additional fees.
Overdraft coverage is a way to avoid overspending. It covers you when you spend more than your bank has in your account. Overdraft fees can be $30 per instance or higher, and you could be charged multiple times for spending. These are the options available to you for overdraft protection. We also have some tips to help you avoid overdrafting in the next big spending season.
Common overdraft protection options
This is a quick overview of overdraft protection options banks usually offer:
Transfers for overdraft protection. Many banks allow you to link your savings account with your checking account, and then pull your savings in to pay for an overdraft. This service can sometimes be charged by banks.
An overdraft credit line. An overdraft credit line is a potentially expensive option. However, it will pay the overdraft cost but will likely have an interest rate comparable to a credit card.
A buffer amount or grace period. Many banks offer longer grace periods, where you don’t have to pay a fee for up to two days after an overdraft. This allows you to add funds to your account. Some banks offer buffer amounts. This means that overdrafts will be covered up to $100 until you can add more money to your account.
Opt out. You can choose to opt out of any coverage. Your bank will decline transactions that could result in an excess. This will save you money, but it can be frustrating if your debit card does not work when you try to make a purchase.
While banks are making it easier for customers with overdrafts to manage, there are many ways to reduce the likelihood of overdrafts.
Prep for future to avoid overdraft
These are other tips to avoid overspending.
Low-balance alerts can be set up. Low-balance alerts can be set up by most banks. Your bank will send you a push notification, text, email, or email when your account falls below $50. This can alert you to spend more responsibly.
Pay attention to automated payments. Automated subscriptions and bill payment can be unexpected, which can lead to a low balance or an overdraft.
Nia Adams, a Perspectives personal finance educator, said via email, “Keep track and plot any and all auto payment that regularly occur to remind you when they should come.” Many times funds are released on different days depending upon when holidays and weekends fall.
Plan for your next holiday season. Holiday spending could be a frequent tripwire in your budget. Overdrafting can make you more vulnerable at this time of year. You might need to reconsider how much you spend on gifts if that is the case.
“Create a holiday-specific strategy,” said Patrina, founder and CEO, It’$ My Money via email. Try to choose sentimental gifts span over expensive ones span
She suggested framing photos of happy memories with your loved ones.
She suggested, “Or,” adding, “Make a list of gifts for each person and include a gift idea and the maximum amount you are willing to spend on each.” Make sure the total is included in your budget .”
A prepaid debit card is an option. A prepaid debit card can be a great way to control your spending during the busy season. The card doesn’t have to be linked to any account so you can’t overdraw. You can also use it like regular debit cards.
Budgeting requires a lot of willpower. The holidays can be a testing period for your spending habits. You can make sure you are better equipped to manage the holiday expenses by planning and setting up your account.