Where does your money go?

monthly budget

If you’re employed, you count on a check dropping in your checking account one to two times a month. You’ve budgeted for paying your monthly expenses such as internet, rent, loan repayment, etc. Then you move onto putting some money into your savings for future expenses or just as a rainy day fund. When it comes time to pay for day-to-day expenses, like groceries and gas, you notice you’re coming up short. You’ve carefully put together a budget, so where the heck is your money going? Before you panic, there are a few things to check in on.

Automatic payments

If you feel like you’re just making it each month, go over your monthly statement to see exactly where your money is going. Maybe you signed up for one of those fun subscription boxes that you stopped using months ago. Even if you’ve opted out of receiving them each month, there’s a good chance you’re still being charged for it. The same goes for that gym membership you completely forgot you had. Weed out these services that you no longer use and those could make up the difference you’ve noticed in your budget.

The free trial that expired

We’ve all done it. We’ve all signed up for a free trial to binge-watch a show or get a few freebies with an online order. We swear we’ll just try it for a month and then discontinue the services after 30 days. However, life happens, and you completely forget to cancel after the free trial. Comb through your monthly expenses – and your inbox – to find information on any existing services you didn’t even know you were paying for.

ATM and other fees

You’re out to dinner or grabbing drinks with some friends and you want to use cash instead of your debit or credit card. You find the nearest ATM, punch in your pin and money appears for the taking. Then later, you notice a small fee for an ATM. Most financial institutions will charge you for using an ATM that isn’t owned by them. (Side note: As a member you have access to over 4,800 ATMs free of charge, to access your Landmark checking account.) The same goes for other small fees that may be under a dollar, so they’ve been under the radar for months. Look into some of the services you use and see if there are any small fees that may be popping up every once in a while.

If you’ve carefully budgeted where your money is coming and going, it may alarm you when a mysterious withdrawal crops up. Before you rush to call your fraud department, take a moment to look over last month’s statement. To catch these discrepancies early, make a habit of checking your account balances within Online or Mobile Banking at least once a week. This way, you can actively see the charges pending and stop any that you didn’t make.

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