As a followup to my recent post on the dark side of debit cards, I wanted to highlight a simple strategy for avoiding those nasty $30+ overdraft fees…
Instead of letting your account balance run down near zero, create a “virtual zero” by depositing what might be referred to as a “balance buffer” of (say) an extra $100 or $500 in your account. The trick here is to treat that number as your new zero balance point.
If you think it might help, you can go so far as to ignore this amount in your checkbook register, Quicken, etc. That way, it will look you’re really approaching zero as you get close to your “virtual zero.”
Now… If you slip up and accidentally dip below “virtual zero,” respond as if you’ve truly overdrafted, and immediately bring your balance back into positive territory.
Admittedly, this is a bit like setting your clock ahead by a few minutes to avoid being late. Such tricks don’t work for everyone, but if they work for you, then run with it.
Hat tip to BG for the suggestion.
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