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How Much Can You Spend? on 2/26/2015

The balance in your checking account at any given time isn’t necessarily the true amount of money you have available to spend. Your account balance only captures actions that have involved SLFCU. It’s important to keep track of previous and future withdrawals to make sure you know exactly how much money will be in your account once all of your transactions have processed.

DON'T RELY ON CHECKING YOUR BALANCE ELECTRONICALLY

Balances shown at an ATM or within online banking won’t reflect scheduled payments or checks that haven’t been cashed. For example, if you provide account information to your school so it can withdraw tuition, SLFCU isn’t aware in advance that it will be withdrawn. The same is true if you write a check or set up a payment from another company’s website. And depending on the merchant, some debit card transactions may take up to 24 hours to post to your account.

KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU HAVE BY KEEPING A REGISTER

To stay on top of how much you have to spend, you can keep a register. A register is a list of all the money going in and coming out of your account. It’s not just for checks or scheduled payments — you can use it for any purchase you make, bill you pay, or money you deposit. This can help make sure you don’t spend money that you don’t have.

HOW TO KEEP A REGISTER

Request a paper register at any SLFCU branch or by calling us. Every time you spend or commit your money, write it down and subtract the amount from your balance. If you don’t want to make an entry every time you swipe your debit card, ask for a receipt and enter it in your register that night. Once a month, review your register to see if your list of transactions matches what’s in online banking. Write down payments when you schedule them so the money has been accounted for, and you won’t spend it on something else.

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