You’re Responsible for Knowing Your Bank Balance

bank balance

Lately I’ve been trying to decide whether or not to get a Target Red debit card. As much as I shop at Target, the five percent discount would be nice, but there are some drawbacks. I’m still looking into it and will probably make a post about what I’ve learned once I make my decision.

Anyway, the one con that people cite over and over again is the fact that transactions completed with the card take a few days to post to your account. Even though it’s labeled a “debit” card, it doesn’t behave like the one issued by your bank, which typically posts transactions instantaneously, or at least on the same day. The Target card functions more like a paper c

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3 Responses to You’re Responsible for Knowing Your Bank Balance

  1. Jocelyn says:

    I just logged on to go to target.ca and apply for the red card. I swung by facebook first and saw this post. I’m curious to know what you learned.

    I use an app on my phone called Expenditure – simply enter expenses as I pay them (via any method) and the balance is updated. HOWEVER it’s only as good as the user. ha.

  2. Debbie M says:

    Huh, as a middle-aged person my concern was different: do I want to give Target access to my checking account? I decided this sort of fear of the unknown is why early-adopters of financial innovations win. (I still wish I had been an earlier adopter of I-bonds and online high-interest savings accounts.) I’m actually surprised Target still deducts 5% after all this time.

    On the other hand, they now have a record of your purchases, so you also lose some privacy. I haven’t noticed getting any junk mail or coupons from them, though. I do get those coupons at the register, but those can be based on that day’s purchase no matter what your payment plan is.

    I’ve had no trouble with my REDcard. Except at the checkout–at first I found it hard to get it to take the PIN digits I was entering, and they also ask if you want to put your whole balance on the card which, since I always want to, seems like an annoying additional step, though if you want the flexibility, it’s available.

    Another negative is that it’s an extra thing you have to carry around, keep track of, and remember to use at Target (and not to use elsewhere), so if you’re trying to simplify your life, this may not be worth the trouble.

    I haven’t noticed how long it takes to post the amount–I use an old-fashioned checkbook register (I can pick them up for free at my credit union), and I check off each purchase as it appears online, just like I do when keeping track of my credit card purchases (I just use a different column in the checkbook register for that).

    And I enter all my autopays into the checkbook register at the beginning of the month, so I’m used to some of those not appearing until much later.

    I sum, I quite like my REDcard. It really does work like they promise–you still get all the full sales prices, coupons, bag use credits, etc. and then they take 5% more off of that.

  3. Gailete says:

    I use one of two debit cards for most purchases. However, before going out to run errands, etc. I balance my checkbooks using on line banking and if needed during the day keep a running total of what I spent so I don’t go over what is in the account. But checking my account before leaving isn’t all I do, I make sure all things have been accounted for and if some money needs to be set aside for a different purpose, I do that as well. I use my formerly ING card and the many different savings accounts it allows me to set aside money for different purposes and still have easy access to ‘spending’ money ie. groceries, medications, gas, etc.

    Very much in this instant age, you need to keep track of stuff since you no longer can count on checks taking a week o clear. I can imagine that some day Target will figure out how to get rid of the ‘float’ and your debits will be taken out immediately. I can’t imagine a different debit card tied to my account other than the one from the bank.

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