Know your bank balance
While you’re in college, it’s important to carefully monitor your spending.
You should know your general bank balance each time you make a transaction, because if you try to debit money that isn’t there, you will bounce a check or your card will deny the purchase.
By balancing your account every month, you can keep track of your money and any bank fees, sometimes even spotting a rare error.
Most banks have a time limit, generally 60 days, to dispute errors on your account, so the sooner it’s spotted, the sooner you should take care of it.
When you receive your bank statement, get a calculator and gather the register in which you’ve recorded all your deposits and debit transactions, whether by debit card, ATM card or check.
Double-check your register to make sure all deposits are recorded. Also, record any interest earned on your deposits.
Then double-check your debit transactions, including fees.
Make sure those are entered into your register, adding the deposits and subtracting your debits until you have a balance on your register.
Now, get your bank statement.
Note the debits that are not listed on your statement, as you may have made them after the bank’s closing date, and list those in a column. Typically, banks include a worksheet plus instructions on the back of your account statement.
Add the debits; then subtract the total from your ending balance shown on the front of your statement.
If you’ve made deposits that are not shown on your statement, add that figure to your worksheet.
Subtract your total outstanding debits, and the figure you reach should equal your balance.
To learn how to plan and prepare for higher education, go to www.gotocollege.ky.gov.
For more information about Kentucky scholarships and grants, visit ; write KHEAA, P.O. Box 798, Frankfort, KY 40602-0798; or call (800) 928-8926, ext. 6-7372.