What does "insufficient funds" mean?

If you've ever had financial problems, you might have heard the phrase "insufficient funds" and wondered what it meant.

Basically, it means that you don't have enough money in your account to do the thing you're trying to do, whether that's make a purchase with a debit card, make a purchase with a check, or anything in between. And in some cases, when you see this message, it usually means you can't complete the transaction.

But others, depending on how you have your accounts set up, might mean that the purchase will go through, and you'll be hit with a charge for overdrawing your account. For this reason, if you think you're getting close to zero on your balance, you might need to carefully monitor your purchases so you don't make any costly mistakes.

Keeping close tabs on your finances is typically a good idea to begin with, so taking that extra step is wise overall, in addition to helping you save money.

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