Checking your bank statement
Follow the money and save
It's true, checking your bank statement every time you get one
can really help you save money. If you find a mistake on your
statement you can challenge it with your bank or the company who
has taken out the money, to ensure you are only paying for things
you need to.
Here we explain how to check your bank statement so you can stay
in control of your spending.
Check what's been spent
If you really want to track your spending to
see where your money is going - use our TrackMySpend app and cross check it with
your bank statement.
Look at what you have spent during the statement period by going
over the 'debits' column of the statement. You can check these
debits against your receipts to make sure they're right.
Be sure to check any regular payments or direct debits, in case
you've been charged for a loan you've already paid off or for
services you've cancelled.
If you spot any payments that don't look right, contact your
bank or credit provider straight away. Read our article on mistaken
transactions to find out what to do.
Check your income is
If you're a low income earner you might qualify for a savings
program, offered by some charitable organisations. See other
programs for low earners for more information.
Look at how much money has come into your account during the
statement period. Make sure all the income you are entitled to is
Your income may include:
- Salary from work
- Centrelink payments
- Child support payments
- Pension or other income payments
If any income is missing ask your boss about it or contact
Assess and reduce the fees you
Using your own bank's ATMs can save you money on fees. Check out
your bank's website or mobile app to see where your closest ATMs
Look at the fees you have been charged. Fees could include:
- Account keeping fees
- ATM fees
- Cash advance fees
- Phone banking fees
- Internet banking fees
- EFTPOS fees
- Branch fees
- Overdrawn account fees
If you are concerned about the fees you are paying, talk to your
bank about an account that has:
- No account keeping fees
- Free monthly statements
- No minimum deposit amounts
- No overdrawn fees
You can find which financial institutions offer these basic bank
accounts on the
Australian Bankers' Association's Affordable Banking
Case study: Sally finds a spare $450 in her bank statement
Sally was afraid to open
her bank statement every month because she knew there would not be
much money in her account. She really didn't want to know how
little money was in there so she let the statements pile up and
never even opened them.
One day her friend convinced her to start checking them to see
what was going on with her account.When she checked the most recent
statement Sally realised that the Christmas Hamper payments that
she had cancelled 5 months ago were still coming out at $45 a
fortnight over 10 weeks. She rang the company and they apologised
and put the money back into her account.
That extra $450 meant she was able to pay off other debts and
finally start to save a little bit of money each week.
Monitor your balance
It's a good idea to check your account balance. This is how much
money is left in your account after your bills and other expenses
have been paid. If it's going up then you can relax. If it's going
down, you are spending more than your earn. See our simple
ways to save money webpage for ideas on how to spend less.
Once you have checked your statement and know where your money
is going, it's a great time to do a budget.
Work out where your money is going and make it stretch
Reading your bank statements can be a way
to find savings in your budget that you didn't know you had and get
money back that's rightfully yours.
Last updated: 31 Jan 2017