Check Your Account Daily
Everyone, not just college students, should check their finances daily. By doing this, you are always aware of exactly how much money you have at all times. Why would you allow someone to know more about your money than you?
Two words… Overdraft Protection. Sign up for Overdraft Protection when you sign up for your account. Doing this will help you avoid penalty fees for going over your limit. I know someone who had about $400 in one month tacked onto her checking statement for overdraft fees and penalties. Obviously, she does not follow step one and two. Learn from her mistakes.
Set Realistic Alerts for EACH Account
The very same person mentioned in the tip above became my inspiration for this one. If your account consistently holds a balance under $100, setting your banking alert for $100 will not help you. Instead, pick an emergency figure that is more realistic for reminding you, hey you need to make a deposit. It will help keep you out of the red.
In the Choice between a Debit and Credit Card- Choose Debit
Debit equals your own cash and credit equals money borrowed plus interest. If you have the money in your account, swipe your debit card!
If Banks Can’t Offer the Basics… Walk Away
If the bank cannot offer you FREE checking, FREE online banking, and most importantly for the student, no minimum balance, then walk away because another bank will.