Balancing a checkbook for your checking account seems like a waste of time in the age of online banking, but knowing how to balance a checkbook is a very important skill to have, especially if you write many checks or own a business. If balancing a checkbook is something you’re not the best at, you’re not alone – and the good news is that it’s a skill that can be acquired easily.
Why Balancing Your Checkbook Is Important
You may be wondering why managing your checking account is so important, especially if you’re pretty good at keeping track of how much you’ve spent. With the advent of the ATM/debit card and online shopping, even the finest minds can get lost while trying to keep track of all of the debits, checks written, deposits and ATM withdrawals.
This is why balancing your checkbook should be a priority. By keeping track of all of your day-to-day financial transactions, you can ensure that you never overdraw your account because of a forgotten pending transaction or check.
How to Balance a Checkbook
If you’re not accustomed to writing down all of your daily transactions, then balancing a checkbook can seem like a huge undertaking. In actuality, it only takes a few steps to ensure you always know how much money you have.
- Write down all transactions in your checkbook register. After each transaction that you make, including checks written (note check numbers, too), debit card purchases, withdrawals and deposits, write down the transaction in your checkbook and note the date and transaction amount.
- Record bank fees and interest earned. If you use a foreign ATM or earn interest on your account, don’t forget to jot it all down.
- Reconcile your transactions. Make sure that the transactions on your bank statement match what you’ve written in your register. By writing down the ending balance on your bank statement, as well as the balance for all of the transactions you listed in your register, you can make sure that both balances match. If they don’t, it’s time to go back to find your missing link.
If you don’t have time to manage and reconcile your checkbook after each transaction, then it’s important that you keep all of your receipts in a special place for balancing your checkbook at the end of the month. This way, you can make managing your checking account a routine that lasts the rest of your life.