With the economy being so unstable, having a checking account makes me incredibly nervous. I am not very good with math and balancing a checkbook. I have been known to make mistakes with carry over numbers that lead us to believe we had way less money than we really did. The same thing has happened the other way, and we went a couple of hundred dollars in the negative. For now we have decided to get rid of the checking account and live on cash alone. This is how we make our "no checking account" rule an advantage.
No overdraft fees
If I am being honest, in the last year we have spent enough on overdraft fees to pay our rent for one month. That is a lot of money to be throwing down the drain, especially over fees that could have been avoided. Without the checking account, there is no way we can overspend. We either have the money, or we don't. This has saved us close to $70 a month already, if not more.
We still have a debit card
When we were discussing getting rid of the checking account, the only downfall we saw was not having a debit card. The issue was resolved when we purchased a Walmart Visa Card which could be used the same way as a normal debit card. We have to pay a monthly fee of $3 if we don't meet the requirement of $3000 added to the balance each month. We rarely meet the minimum, so we end up spending the $3. Instead of spending around $750 a year on overdrafts, we can comfortably spend the $36 fee to keep the Visa.
We cannot overspend
With a checking account it was so easy to overspend and accrue overdraft charges. Now we either have the money, or we don't. The latter is usually the case, but at least we aren't piling unwanted debt on ourselves. We have x amount of dollars to live on for 14 days, and we have to plan accordingly. If we realize we are getting low on funds, we have to pinch every penny.
I didn't realize how much stress would be lifted from my life once we got rid of the checking account. I no longer fear going to the mailbox and receiving another overdraft notice. There are still some tight months around here, but the debt is not piling up around us.
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