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An account balance represents the total amount of money in a financial account at any given moment. It’s an important number for margin accounts, bank accounts, mortgages, retirement accounts, and many other repositories. It can also refer to the money owed to a third party, such as a credit card company.

A checking account’s balance reflects the net total of all checks or debits that drew funds from the account, plus the total deposits added to the account. Obviously, a balance can change quickly, especially in light of electronic banking services. Consumers who don’t pay attention to their current account balance run the risk of overdrawing funds.

The account balance on a credit card or other third-party account reflects all activities made up to the current moment. If the card’s holder made purchases of $100, $50 and $25, and also returned an item that cost $10, his account balance is $165.

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