I have always known/been told I have some obsessive behaviors. Something I am certainly obsessed with are my finances. I might sound crazy, but I know everything about all my accounts at any point of the day. I have alerts on everything so I am constantly bombarded with emails and I have every banking app that I have accounts for and get notification on my phone in addition to the emails. Is this crazy or overkill? Maybe/Probably. BUT, in my defense I think this behavior has truly kept me on top of my finances.
I would say 99 out of 100 days I check my main bank account. Whether its on my computer or through the app. I have all of my bills set to auto pay and they are taken out at various times of the month depending on my personal pay cycle as well as how the pay cycle for that respective bill is setup. This means that many times my account is charged without me doing the charging manually. The convenience is great, but the automation can lead to slips. If I didn’t monitor my account(s) the way I do I would have missed my Comcast bill going from $110 to $165, for example. Granted I would have seen it the following week or whenever I checked in the future, but by seeing it the day it happened I was able to contact Comcast and they happily offered me a new promotion which gave me more services (more current, as well) and reduced my bill back to $110. Could I have got the same two weeks later? Who knows, but I was happy to get it the same day. Things like this happen more often then you would think.
I also monitor my debts such as credit cards, student loans and mortgage on an almost daily basis. While the charges here are much less frequent and tend to be much more stable in regards to automation, I have found times when I was still in Grad School and my student loan would magically come “out of deferment”. If I didn’t notice right away, my auto-pay would have kicked in and a debit would be drafted from my account. Granted, it may be credited back later, but who knows! I quickly got in touch with the student loan service who let me know my university did not update my graduation status on their most recent student submission so it appeared as if I was not in school. Once this was fixed (same day) the deferred status was re-established.
So in summary, yes, yes I am OCD about my finances, but I don’t care! I might be a bit critical of myself in the way I track them, but its only for the better as I have found it to beneficial to myself and consider the issues I find and fix to be rewards. I cant imagine how many people who barley ever or even never monitor their accounts end up with increased charges or debits they don’t even recognize. Not to mention, the consistent monitoring is one of the best way to quickly detect and prevent fraud! I do a lot of online shopping so charges sometimes come up a day or two late, sometimes remain pending for a while, before they process and at times the value might be different (did an item on back order not get billed, etc.).
I find it reassuring to know what my financial spectrum looks like on a daily basis. How about you? Do you monitor your finances in an obsessive manner like me? Do you find it helps? I think having the numbers in my face so often helps me spend less and reduce debt more.