Understanding account statement terminology can be a daunting task. It’s filled with unfamiliar terms and numbers that can be difficult to decipher. But with a little bit of knowledge, you can make sense of it all.
In this article, we’ll explain the basics of account statement terminology, including opening and closing balances, transaction descriptions, debits and credits, interest and fees, and average daily balance. With this information, you’ll be able to make sense of your account statement and make better financial decisions.
Opening and Closing Balance
The Opening and Closing Balance are the bookends of your financial activity, framing the activity that took place in between. Your Opening Balance is the amount of money in your account at the beginning of a statement period. It is the sum of all deposits, withdrawals, and charges from the end of the previous statement period.
Your Closing Balance is the total amount of money in your account at the end of the statement period after all deposits, withdrawals, and charges have been taken into account. This is the starting balance for the next statement period.
Knowing your Opening and Closing Balance gives you an idea of your money flow over the statement period, and it is important to keep track of your Opening and Closing Balance to better understand your account activity.
You’ll gain insight into what each transaction alert on your account statement means when you learn about transaction descriptions. Transaction descriptions are short phrases that appear on your account statement, and provide a brief explanation of each transaction.
For example, a transaction description may read “ATM Withdrawal” to indicate that you withdrew money from an automated teller machine, or “POS Purchase” to indicate that you made a purchase with your debit card.
Transaction descriptions can also provide additional information about the transaction, such as the merchant’s name, location, or type of service purchased.
By understanding what each transaction description means, you’ll have a better idea of where your money is going and how it’s being used. It can also help you spot any suspicious activity on your account statement.
Debits and Credits
Gaining an understanding of debits and credits can help you better manage your finances and spot any discrepancies on your account. A debit is an entry that increases an asset or expense account, or decreases a liability or equity account. This means that when you make a purchase, the amount of money you spend is recorded as a debit.
On the other hand, a credit is an entry that increases a liability or equity account, or decreases an asset or expense account. This means that when you receive money, the amount is recorded as a credit.Debits and credits are important to understand because they are used to record all financial transactions.
Knowing how to read and interpret debits and credits can help you better understand your account statement and spot any discrepancies. It is also important to remember that debits and credits must always balance out, meaning that the total of all debits must equal the total of all credits. This is a key concept in accounting and is essential for keeping accurate records.
Interest and Fees
Knowing about interest and fees can help you manage your finances more effectively and avoid costly surprises. Interest is the fee charged by a lender to a borrower for the use of the lender’s money. Generally, the borrower pays interest to the lender, but there are some cases where the lender will pay interest to the borrower, such as with a savings account. Fees, on the other hand, are charges that are assessed to cover the cost of services.
They are typically nonrefundable and can vary greatly based on the type of service being provided. Common examples of fees include overdraft fees, ATM fees, and late payment fees. Understanding the difference between interest and fees can help you make sound financial decisions and keep your accounts in good standing. Additionally, understanding the different types of fees associated with accounts can help you identify areas where you may be able to save money.
Average Daily Balance
Grasping the concept of average daily balance can help you manage your finances better and avoid unexpected costs. Average daily balance is a measure of your account balance throughout the billing cycle. It is calculated by taking the sum of the daily balances for each day of the billing cycle, and then dividing that total by the number of days in the cycle.
This calculation allows you to better understand the amount of money that you are using on a daily basis. This can be beneficial in setting a budget and keeping track of your spending. Your average daily balance can also affect the amount of fees or interest that you are charged.
For example, some credit card companies may charge you a higher interest rate if your average daily balance is higher than a certain amount. Knowing your average daily balance can help you avoid any unexpected charges or fees. Additionally, it can help you make sure that you are making the most of your money by using it in the most effective way possible.
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