Going completely digital has become standard in today’s world. When it comes to your personal finances and financial transactions, we are managing everything on provider websites and in the cloud. As it relates to banking, most customers now receive their bank account statement as e-statements. It is tremendously convenient and saves on paper and costs. But, receiving only e-statements can pose a problem if your bank account statements disappear!
Today, we want to focus on just one issue. How do bank customers make certain they always can access their most recent e-statements in a worst-case scenario? And, a worst-cast scenario can include a cyber attack, long-term loss of electricity, or something as mundane as choosing to close your bank account, which cuts off access to your e-statements.
The answer is so simple it’s almost silly to be telling you. But, you would be surprised at how many consumers simply don’t do this action. Here we go:
Download a digital copy of your e-statement from your bank or other provider and maintain duplicate copies in a secure space.
I know. It’s an obvious recordkeeping strategy, but because e-statements are created every month and remain in the digital world at your bank, we can get busy and forget to do it. It’s true; we can always access them whenever we want. But, consider the inconvenience, not to mention big mess, you would face if for whatever reason you didn’t have access to those e-statements? You would have no proof of your account balance, transactions, etc. in YOUR own hands. (Keep in mind, banks have taken disaster planning steps regarding saving your data, but do you want to wait on the bank in a worst-case scenario?)
Today’s blog is not meant to cause distress rather to remind us that as money smart consumers, we always need to look out for ourselves. We need to take the necessary steps to ensure our financial recordkeeping is an A+! So, what are you supposed to do? It’s easy. Take the following steps to manage not only your bank account statement, but all your digital statements including credit card, mortgage, investments, etc.
Action #1: Create a schedule
Create an e-statement download schedule. Either post a reminder on your computer or on your digital world calendar as a monthly reminder.
Action #2: Download your e-statements
Log in directly to your vendor, provider, or bank. Download your e-statement to your computer. Copy the document to an external hard drive and second digital source like a flash drive.
Let me emphasize a key point here regarding security. If you are managing your personal finances, investments, and keeping your e-statements and financial records on the same computer or device where you browse the Internet and look at your email, there is always an element of risk. Again, always think worst-case scenario – your computer is hacked, hijacked, hard drive is trashed, etc. I think you get the picture. Optimally, the safest approach is managing your banking and financial activities is on a designated computer, laptop or device that is only used for that purpose. The price points of bare bone laptops or PCs have dropped. Consider picking up a second computer for managing ONLY your banking and financial matters.
See – it’s simple. The trick is sticking to a schedule and downloading your e-statements monthly. You can then enjoy peace of mind and can focus your energies on more interesting and fun activities.
Please share today’s Post with friends and family. We need to work together so all of us can enjoy better financial security.
Tips to Read:
Review our post Best Practices for Electronic Bank Statements for some additional information on managing your bank account statement.