How often should I be checking my checking account, savings account, and investment accounts (financial accounts)?
While ultimately it is your choice on how often you should be checking your financial accounts, I would recommend checking more frequently than not. Out of sight, out of mind, as the saying goes. No one cares more about your money than you, so check your bank accounts frequently! Based on the type of accounts, here are my rules of thumb for how often should you be checking your financial accounts.
You should be watching your checking account weekly if not daily or semi-daily. This is where the majority of your spending happens and you want to make sure that you have enough money in your account for your bills or rent. While this might be tedious, I think that checking your accounts frequently will help curb any extraneous spending that might happen. Hey – I am not saying don’t get the Michael Kors purse, but make sure you have the money for it. Don’t overdraft for something silly.
I highly recommend setting your savings account to automate your deposits. You can set automatic transfers up for any frequency, but my favorite is monthly when the paycheck comes in. Pay yourself first with savings and treat it like a bill versus using what is left over as savings. I also associate goals to my savings accounts so I am saving towards something. For example, my travel account, might say “Travel” or “New Zealand” so that I know exactly what I am saving for.
In addition to goals, I recommend setting up two fail safe accounts: and emergency fund and a rainy day fund. Some financial experts might argue that you only need one, but I like two for distinct purposes. A rainy day fund is for when you have to call AAA to get a new car battery that costs you $200 unexpectedly, whereas an emergency fund is about 6 months of expenses (rent, bills, etc) saved up in case of job loss or something major.
Since putting my savings account on direct deposit, I only check these once a month to make sure that everything is running smoothly.
Since the market can fluctuate and you don’t want to panic unnecessarily, I would recommend only checking your investment accounts about once or twice a month. I keep an excel spreadsheet with my investment contributions and I update it monthly on how the accounts are actually doing. This not only forces me to check the investment accounts, but to track how the accounts are doing.
I am adding in another category – credit cards that you should be checking bi-monthly. Not only do you want to audit your spending, but it is a great chance to check for fraudulent activity as well.