What To Do If You Overdraw Your Account?

Hopefully, your bank is forgiving …

Matt McDonough
2 min readAug 31


When you overdraft your account, your bank may not forgive you. But your first step should be to forgive yourself.

Image created by the Author via Canva

What Are The Next Steps?

You will likely be paying an overdraft fee in your next deposit, so there is no need to add to your burden by blaming yourself.

Blame aside, you need a plan for how to respond. Overdrawing on an account is not ideal, but it is also likely not a coincidence.

Overdrawing your account is essentially treating a checking account like it is a credit card … and your bank will not appreciate being treated this way.

How To Prevent This From Happening Again

Your main goal after an overdraft is to ensure it is a one-time event. Everyone makes mistakes and one overdraft is not a death sentence for anyone’s personal finances.

However, a pattern of overdrafts is a sign of a much bigger problem.

Your checking account slowly morphs into a credit card when you are not living within your means. This means your expenses are greater than your income, and that must change.

But How?

There is no one way to live within your means, however, you must find your unique path.

The quickest step to living within your means is to decrease spending. Take a look at where your money is going and attack the largest chunks first. Can you lower your rent or car payments? Can you focus more on the grocery store to save money spent at restaurants?

The long-term solution is to increase your income so that your lifestyle becomes sustainable … much easier said than done. But absolutely worth pursuing more money from your job or a side hustle, if you find yourself in this situation.

Steps 1, 2, 3 …

Steps (1) Do not blame yourself, (2) find out where your money is going and limit the big-ticket items, and (3) take the time to increase your income. Do your best to find your path to a sustainable lifestyle and avoid the stresses of over-drafting your account.

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Please reach out to in50orless@gmail.com with any questions or suggestions for other personal finance topics to cover.



Matt McDonough

Hello! I am a CPA by day, writer by night, and adventurer on the weekends. I’m on the lookout for fun ideas to read, please send anything interesting my way!