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5 Ways You Can Benefit From Online Financial Services + Check and Record-Keeping Tips

Posted by : Premraj | Posted on : Monday, February 8, 2016

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The World Wide Web has opened plenty of new doors to people who want to find more information, make purchases and interact with others. All of these activities have made it possible to live more fulfilling, enriching lives. Spending money online or through electronic forms of payment such as debit and credit have been proven to feel less consequential to consumers than purchases made with physical cash, which can lead to some pretty bad financial habits for some people. Thankfully, the internet provides plenty of ways in which to maximize sound financial planning as well. Below, you’ll find a list of five ways in which you can benefit from online services that promote better financial decisions.

Instant Awareness

Online financial services are the perfect solution for shoppers and people who want to have instant awareness of their financial situations. From online banking to stock market management, there are plenty of tools and platforms through which information can be accessed at a moment’s notice. This can help prevent overdrafts of checking accounts, improve a course of action during volatile market conditions and even encourage better spending habits when away from home.

Versatile Management

When reliant upon traditional financial services, you might have to physically visit a bank to transfer funds between two different accounts or to order a batch of personal checks. With most online banking solutions, you can transfer money between accounts, pay bills and request a physical check be mailed to someone in just a couple of minutes. Likewise, financial services such as Checkomatic.com make it easy to browse, customize and order any number of personal checks in record time.

Superior Rates

Brick and mortar financial institutions often charge a proverbial arm and a leg for their investment, banking or money management services. Most online financial services operate with less overhead and minimal upkeep, which reduces the inevitable cost passed on to consumers. As such, online financial services often cost a fraction of what traditional financial services do. Whether it pertains to online financial advisers or subscription-based services, you’ll save money via the internet.

No Middle-Man

Many people simply prefer to not deal with other people when it comes to their money. Not only – as we briefly mentioned above – do middle-men add to costs, but it creates the need for personal interaction in a very impersonal situation. Online financial services rely upon the user and a machine in most cases, making it very easy to login, do what needs to be done, and return to business as usual. Everybody has days where dealing with people who come in between them and their money isn’t a good idea. Online financial services reduce the need for this interaction.

More Options

Simply put, online financial services tend to offer more services, options and features to clients than traditional financial services. This has to do with the fact that online systems can be programmed to provide and perform a variety of functions that would otherwise require multiple employees and types of training. Because computers and mobile devices themselves are able to handle so many different tasks, online institutions can focus on developing sophisticated and responsive solutions for customers that go above and beyond what is provided with physical financial service solutions.

Keeping Track of Checks

There is an inherent need to keep track of receipts and expenditures when managing a personal or business checking account. It can be all too easy to whip out the debit or credit card to make that expenditure, but is this the best solution for proper record-keeping? The age-old check still retains ample value for those interested in balancing the proverbial checkbook in today’s modern world.

The use of manual personal and business checks – a standard staple of countless people and businesses – allows for a professional and secure method of payment that can easily be customized. Receipt books, deposit slips and other check-related accessories provide plenty of ways in which expenditures via check can be recorded.

Services like Checkomatic provide unique business checking supplies and products that make it very easy to issue checks, record their issuance and deliver them in a secure manner. The service provides individuals with access to personal checks, business checks and computer checks in a variety of formats, including 3-on-a-page checkbooks, wallet and personal checkbooks, deskset checks and check paper, among other items.

Financial institutions will always have records of any checks issued in the event you wish to obtain past records (up to five years) for better documentation moving forward.

Maintaining Financial Records

Online financial services provide users with plenty of documented details about a variety of money management activities, but it is never a good idea to keep all of your financial records in one location. As such, physical back-ups are definitely recommended.

How long should you keep track of various financial service records? The answer depends on the type of document or activity.

For standard financial transactions – including checks – the minimum period in which these records should be kept is one year. However, many people keep this information for an indefinite period of time. Business owners and those who file for deductions on their taxes in particular must be studious in maintaining these records for multiple years in the event of an IRS audit.

For checks in the form of pay stubs and the like, it is generally a good idea to hold onto these until your annual W-2 arrives, at which point, these can be shredded.

For bills and payments made by individuals, it is generally a good idea to hold onto records of the bills being paid – as well as any cancelled checks confirming this – for a period of up to one year. However, once the cancelled check for the bill has been returned, these can often be discarded.

Any bank records or records relating to other financial planning activities should be kept for as long as possible, in a secure place and where they can be easily accessed. Financial and bank records related to taxes, business expenses or other endeavors that may be of interest to governmental organizations in the event of a future audit should be kept for up to five years. Most other documents can be shredded on an annual basis.

For precise minimums on how long to retain more than a dozen different types of financial records and statements, click here.

Have you tried any online financial services in the past? What benefits did you enjoy the most? Let us know about your experiences below by leaving a comment.

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