Bounced check fees often put consumers in a financial bind. Most banks charge an average of $35 per bounced check each time the deposit is attempted. Some retailers submit checks multiple times. This causes a bounced check fee with each attempt. In some cases, a single bounced check results in over $100 in additional fees.
Check Balances Daily
In order to keep your bank account in the positive, check your balance daily. This also means that you should automatically deduct the amount of any checks you have written from the daily balance on that day. This tells you exactly how much you have available and will help prevent overspending.
Getting into the habit of deducting checks before they hit the bank is a good practice to maintain. This will help you to know what your balance and available funds are at all times.
Don’t Write Checks your Funds Can’t Cover
When you know that you don’t have money to cover a check, just don’t write it. You will end up kicking yourself in the future for purposely bouncing a check. If you have too many and they remain unpaid, this can result in legal action being taken against you and you can go to jail for bounced checks, depending on the amount and frequency.
Don’t Use Checks
If you know your spending habits and your desire to bounce checks is prominent, forget that you have them available. It is easier to maintain your finances and not bounce checks if you only use your debit card. These transactions come off of your balance immediately. Watch your account though because some retailers wait a few days to complete the transaction or it is allowed to fall off and be completed later. Simply deduct your purchases as you make them, just as you would with a check.
With the tips above you can completely stop bouncing checks. It is up to you to be diligent in knowing your available balance. One of the negatives with writing checks is that it can take several weeks for them to be processed. When checks are mailed to retailers or creditors for payment, it can take up to a week for them to receive the payment. It may take another week for them to apply the payment and up to another week for the check to finally reach your bank account. This is how many consumers find themselves with multiple bounce checks and steep fees.