Working out how much money you can spend isn’t quite as easy as checking your bank balance. 

For a start, you need to take into account what direct debits are coming up – not to mention standing orders and ‘pending’ transactions. 

It can be a time-consuming process that Halifax reckons it is helping to make easier with a new online banking feature to save customers time and effort.

The new ‘Balance Extra’ shows customers the amount of money they actually have available to them before their next pay day. 

The convenience of having access to see how much money you really have available to spend will help customers avoid financial strain later in the month

Nick Williams, consumer digital director, Halifax
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It will be made available to qualifying Halifax Ultimate Reward Current Account and Reward Current Account customers over the next few weeks. 

Nick Williams, Halifax’s consumer digital director, said: “We’re continually looking at simple ways in which we can improve the value and convenience for our customers when they choose to manage their money online.

“Balance Extra provides a unique dimension that will make a real difference for customers when managing their money.

"Allowing them to see a forward-looking account balance in a really simple and straightforward way will support better informed spending decisions. 

“The convenience of having access to see how much money you really have available to spend will help customers avoid financial strain later in the month.”

Halifax says it is one of the most switched to banks on the high street, Image by Barry Barnes/Shutterstock.com

Yesterday, Halifax announced that 470,000 customers had switched to the bank since the introduction of the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) in 2013. 

It said official figures released by Bacs, the company that runs the CASS, showed that Halifax was one of the most switched to banks on the high street. 

Between July and September 2015, Halifax had a net gain of more than 11,000 new customers. 

CASS figures also showed that a record number of people – almost 125,000 – switched their current accounts in March.

The number of switches in the first three months of 2016 was also up 20% on the last three months of 2015.

Harriet Baldwin, the economic secretary to the Treasury, welcomed the figures. 

“I am delighted that the latest figures from the CASS show record levels of customers taking advantage of the service over the past three months,” she said. 

“CASS is a service that truly works for customers, allowing them to vote with their feet and switch where they see a better deal – simply, reliably and quickly.”