If you are constantly overdrawing your bank account, overdraft protection may seem like a great idea… But in truth, it’s simply allowing you to ignore the problems of overspending and failing to balance your accounts.
I recently interviewed a military mom for my book, Money is Emotional: Prevent Your Heart from Hijacking your Wallet, on this subject. Her husband had always handled the bills, so she was distraught when she ran into trouble with overdrafts while he was deployed and sought a meeting with the bank manager. “Boy, do we have the solution for you!” her banker said. Rather than help this military mom learn how to reconcile her account and manage her spending, the banker sold her a credit card that transferred money to her account every time it went in the red.
This fueled her out-of-control spending and she eventually racked up in excess of $10,000 on the card. This military mom said, “I thought my banker had my back… Turns out he had his hand in my wallet!” A better solution to overdraft protection? Balance your accounts regularly and keep a cushion of several hundred dollars in your account.