How to remember your direct debits so that they don't bounce

Feb 27, 2024

Do you ever get caught out with a bounced payment?

Every now and then I get caught out by a direct debit bouncing and it is a good reminder of how I need to continuously check my account balances, and make sure there is enough for the payments to go through.


So I wondered, apart from scrolling back through the internet banking transactions all the time, how could I keep track of these payments?


Add them to my calendar

I use a number of calendars for work and home.  It's the home finances that often get forgotten, because I am so busy at work. We have a shared apple calendar for the family, so I can set them up in there so that I can see the amounts when I look at my phone.  This way, I can set them up as recurring calendar events, and it can be obvious if the amount changes, or if we want to cancel one, it is a reminder every month.  

I have used green as the colour as it is the colour that best represents money.

Create a manual calendar

I am a fan of visual reminders on the fridge.  Back when we still got paper bills (rather than emailed) I would pop all the upcoming bills on the fridge with a magnet.  Most of our bills are now emailed and direct debited - meaning it's not up to me to pay the bills (yay for simplicity)!  But, sometimes I overspend.  And that means bounced payments.

A very visual option is to draw up a manual calendar picture for my fridge, showing all the dates of when and the amount for each payment.


Map out a list of what's coming in and out

Map out a listing of when the money goes into the account on pay day, and the total outgoing before the next pay day.  This is a great method to work out what your average deposit needs to be if you are using a standalone bank account just for direct debits.  You might do it on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis, depending on when you get paid.


It might look something like this:

+In.      - Out.      = Balance

+165.   - 65         = 100

+165.   - 126       = 139

+165    - 220.      = 84

+165.   - 200.      = 49

+165.   - 65.        = 149

+165.   - 126.      = 188

This calculates that the minimum account balance for this account is $49, creating a comfortable buffer in case of changes to the costs.


What do you do to avoid the dreaded bounced payments?

Join the facebook group and share your experiences

Come and see what the facebook group is all about, get more tips and join in the conversation.

Facebook group

Stop wasting money today!

It's time to have more fun with your money.

The More Money Challenge allows you to:
- know where your money goes
 - prioritise your spending
 - have better conversations with your partner about money

Download the guide to get started now!

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.