Welcome to our Frugal Challenge Series where you’re given bite-sized frugal exercises to do each week. These exercises will help you develop your frugal skills one step at a time.
By taking up these challenges, you’ll become a frugal pro in less time than you think.
If you’ve missed our earlier Frugal Challenge Series, click on the links below. You can do them in any order.
How can Frugal Challenge Series help you?
This Frugal Challenge Series can help if you want to adopt a frugal lifestyle, but don’t know how or where to make a start.
This series can help you if you’re after proven tips that really work.
Some folks think that adopting a frugal life is an uphill task.
Although it does involve some effort, it’s not as hard as you think. It’s a matter of getting used to it.
When you carry out these little exercises, they’ll train you to think and act like a frugalist and over time, you’ll be able to come up with your own frugal tricks to save more money.
Frugal Challenge Series Week 12
In this week’s challenge, we’ll do a very simple exercise that won’t up more than few minutes.
But they’ll make a huge difference to your finances.
I’m talking about checking your bank account.
Most of us think this is too simple and basic. And it’s not worth their time.
After all, we can use our apps and other online tools to do the job.
Yes, this is true.
Online financial tools can and do the job. Besides they save us time and effort.
However, these little robots are programmed by humans and humans do make mistakes.
I don’t trust online automation 100% because of this reason. A personal banker I’ve spoken too feels the same way.
So it’s in our best interest to have a check now and then to ensure our finances are in order.
Make a date with your online bank once a fortnight to make sure everything is in order.
Schedule in a specific date and time. That way you’ll remember to do it.
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Mistakes Do Occur
Recently our fixed term mortgage needed a renewal.
We went through our usual broker giving her clear instructions on what to do.
She was to instruct our bank to deduct a sum from one of my savings account once to reduce the total loan amount and the bank is to continue the fortnightly deductions from Mr MMT’s working account.
We gave her my savings bank account to deduct the sum from.
Yes, you guessed it. She did not read our instructions.
Our bank forcibly deducted the sum from Mr MMT’s account.
As it’s a working account, there wasn’t enough balance in it.
So the balance went into negative and there were additional charges of overdraft fees and fines associated with it.
We were alerted when the bank contacted us. Only then did we realize the mortgage broker had messed up the transaction.
Having learnt our lesson, we took careful note of the dates these issues were to be rectified.
We checked that our bank is now making regular deductions from the correct account.
They had also agreed to waive the overdraft charges and refund the premium interest I was entitled to at a later date.
But on checking our bank accounts, I realized that these hadn’t been done. We had taken note of the bank’s representative name and ‘hunted’ him down.
After our gentle reminder, he has since addressed all the earlier mistakes.
All these occurred in early June. But it wasn’t until mid-July that all these issues were resolved.
Your Homework for Week 12
Write in the dates and check your bank accounts at least once every 2 weeks.
What do you check for?
Your paycheck is in and it’s the right amount.
Check that automatic deductions are taken from the correct bank accounts.
Check that the amounts deducted are correct.
Check for any unusual deductions from your accounts.
I hope my story has encouraged you to take this simple act of checking your bank accounts seriously.
It only takes a few minutes of your time, but it makes a huge difference to your bank balance.
Best of all, you’ll gain something far more precious than gold – peace of mind.
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