Checking accounts are rarely used for checks any more, but they still remain an important part of the bill paying and every day spending habits of many people. From the card swipes that we use to make daily payments at the grocery store, gas station, and favorite restaurants to the online payments that allow us to take care of housing, insurance, and utility bills, today’s checking account has evolved into a different kind of system than the hand written checks of the past.
In this transition, however, many people have lost the habit of tracking their daily spending. Without the use of a check ledger to record every payment that is made, in fact, there are likely many people who get to the end of the day without knowing exactly how much money they have spent. This is especially unfortunate in a time when so many Americans find themselves burdened with high interest credit card debt and other long term financial responsibilities. Perhaps it is for this reason that many parents are actually taking the time to teach their children a more traditional way of tracking their expenses. And while few people are writing actual checks from their checking accounts these days, there are a growing number of responsible consumers who are doing a better job of tracking all of their expenses and making sure that they are below the income that they earn.
Mortgage Payments and Student Loans Remain Some of the Highest Expenses Most Individuals Have
From applying for an auto loan for a first new car purchase to learning how to responsibly use credit cards, there are many important economic lessons that Americans need to teach their children. Using an online app that replicates the ledger of traditional checking accounts, in fact, even today’s youngest consumers can track their spending and even watch their savings accounts grow.
The latest research indicates that seven out of every 10 people have at least one credit card. These cards, however, are to all alike. Some come with frighteningly high interest rates and, unfortunately, many carry unrealistic balances where card holders are barely paying off the interest every month. If you are a parent trying to teach your child the responsible use of credit then you need to know that the best way to do this is to practice what you preach. As in any kind of parenting, your actions will speak louder than words, so taking the time to record the money that you spend on a ledger for traditional checking accounts of making a point of checking an online banking balance before spending money is important.
Because homes remain one of the largest investments that many people make it should come as no surprise that as many as 80% of home buyers have a mortgage. Knowing that every payment that is made is an investment in the future, however, is motivation for making this payment that is likely a significant part of any family’s budget.
Selecting the bank where you do your business is an important part of being a wise financial consumer. Did you know, for instance, that you are twice as likely to find free checking at a credit union than other financial institutions? Did you also know that some credit unions offer better interest rates for home and car loans. Shopping for a bank should be as important as looking for the kind of car that you want and as significant as understanding the floor plan that you want for that new house. A loan, in fact, will often determine the overall value of the item that you are purchasing. Likewise, when you take the time to explore your best credit card options you put yourself in the position to be a wise consumer instead of being the victim of large banks and credit card companies that prey on unsuspecting consumers.
What are you doing tis holiday season to each your children the value of money? If you are showering them with gifts that they likely do not need and that are putting you deeper in debt, then you are doing it wrong. Make this the year you achieve financial stability.
Are Your Spending Habits the Kind You Want Your Children to Follow?
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