In the past, the best way to balance a checkbook was by hand, recording daily spending habits to insure accounts were not overdrawn. But with the growth of technology, tracking spending habits is now as easy as clicking a mouse.
According to eMarketer, a digital marketing and media research group, an increasing number of consumers are using online banking to track spending habits because of its enormous convenience factor. With a few clicks, consumers can readily see a fairly up-to-date snapshot of their accounts instead of waiting for a monthly statement in the mail.
Online banking is a great way to conveniently track spending, pay bills and monitor account balances, which may make it easier to stick to your monthly budget and eliminate or avoid debt problems. To make the most of the online banking tools available, consumers should:
- Regularly using the resources offered by online banks to track spending.
- Making a plan and using a spending report to gain accurate information about your current expenditures so it's easier to compare your needs to your wants.
- Monitoring your progress and keeping your spending in check.
- Making adjustments. As you continue to track your finances, it may be necessary to adjust your budget to decrease spending and increase the amount of money used to pay your debt.
Tracking spending is only part of a sound approach to eliminating debt. You should also consider starting an emergency fund, which lets you handle unexpected expenses without adding to your debt burden.
Consider the Ally No-Penalty CD, for example, which gives you a competitive interest rate on your balance, open and fund your CD with any amount, and no early withdrawal penalties if you need access to your cash after the first six days following the date you fund your account.
The Ally Money Market Account is another option if you need even more convenient access. With it, you'll earn higher interest than with a traditional savings account, and you can access your funds or make purchases with a check card. Whichever ways you choose, you can always count on Ally to do right by you and your money.