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What is in your bank account?

By Kemberley Washington · Bankrate.com
Monday, October 28, 2013
Posted: 2 pm ET

Because we are so busy, reconciling our bank accounts often slips to the end of our "to do" lists. As a result, we simply wing it when it comes to our bank balances. But is this the best way to keep up with your savings?

Here are three reasons why you should reconcile your account.

The bank makes mistakes

We want to trust that every transaction deducted from our account is legitimate. But sometimes banks make mistakes. Therefore, if we are not mindful of our bank balances, chances are we may be vulnerable to bank errors.

You are not perfect

I can't say this enough – no matter how much we try, we are not perfect. Many of us try to remember the amount we paid for a latte, the check we wrote for insurance and the withdrawal from the ATM. But chances are we struggle to accurately recall what we have spent in our personal budget.

You can save money

Banks and financial institutions are in business to make money. Because of this, banks charge fees for overdraft and non-sufficient funds. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, the median overdraft fee per item for the year 2012 was $34 for larger financial institutions, and $30 for smaller financial institutions. The CFPB also reported that in the year 2011, overdraft and non-sufficient funds accounted for more than 61 percent of total service charges. If you are not mindful of your bank balances, these fees can really add up.

Kemberley Washington is a certified public accountant. She writes a personal finance blog at kemberley.com. Follow her on Twitter or connect with her on Facebook.

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