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Students, know your bank balance




Here are some financial tips for college students.

While in college, it’s important to monitor your spending carefully. You should know your general bank balance each time you make a transaction, because if you write a check or try to debit money that isn’t there, you will bounce a check or your card will deny the purchase.

By balancing your checkbook 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 check register in which you’ve recorded all your checks, deposits and debit card transactions. Double-check your register to make sure all deposits are recorded. Also, record any interest earned on your deposits. Then double-check your checks and debit transactions, including fees. Make sure those are entered into your register, adding the deposits and subtracting your checks and debits until you have a balance on your register.

Now, get your bank statement. Note the checks that are not listed on your statement, as you may have written checks 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 checks, 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 checks and the figure you reach should equal your checkbook balance.

This money management tip is brought to you by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA). For more tips, see “It’s Money, Baby!” at www.kheaa.com.

To learn how to plan for higher education, visit www.GoHigherKY.org. For more information about Kentucky financial aid, visit www.kheaa.com; write KHEAA, P.O. Box 798, Frankfort, KY 40602- 0798; or call (800) 928- 8926.


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