Store your savings in a different bank than your checking account People can fall into a trap of viewing the sum of their checking and savings accounts as their spending budget, Capalad says. Keeping your accounts at separate banks so that you see only your checking account balance can help you avoid spending more than intended. This tactic also makes it more difficult to quickly transfer from savings if you’re tempted to spend more. Turn on balance alerts Some banks send an alert when your balance is low so you’ll know when to hold off on purchases that might cause you to go over budget or even overdraft. You can often choose to receive these alerts by text, email or as a notification through the bank's app. Your account might also have more targeted alerts available. With Huntington Bank’s Heads Up and Spend Setter tools, for example, you can set budgets to track spending by category and get alerts on your status. So if you create a monthly dining budget of $100, the bank will alert you when you’ve spent close to that amount at restaurants. Try restrictive features to curb spending Find an account that lets you take a stricter approach to avoid overspending. Ally Bank’s Card Controls, for example, lets you set spending limits for specific transaction amounts or certain merchant categories. With a Discover checking account, you can temporarily freeze your debit card as a more extreme way to prevent spending — certain charges will still go through, but you won’t be able to make any new purchases. Whether you’re comfortable with the idea of budgeting or new to the concept, there are ways you can use your bank account to stick to a budget. You might not get budgeting right on your first try, or even your first few tries. “Remember, this is all an experiment, and it’s not a pass-or-fail kind of thing," Capalad says. “You’ll find the system that works for you.



The article 6 Ways to Budget Using Your Bank Account was originally published on NerdWallet on September 9, 2021.

RUTH SARREAL is a content management specialist at NerdWallet.


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