Tips on Balancing Your Checkbook

Many people don’t realize the importance of balancing their checkbook. Although this task can be tedious and boring, this can prevent overdraft fees and help people become in charge of their money. Here are a few easy steps to balance your checkbook.

Keep a Check Register - This is where you will track all of the checks you write, debits with your debit card, and any deposits that you make. Another helpful tip would be to order checks that have carbon paper to createa duplicate. This way you will be able to go back through the checks you have written in case you forgot to record them in your register.

Use a Calculator - When you are adding a deposit or subtracting a withdrawal, it is important to do this accurately. Even just one miscalculation of a deposit or withdrawal can throw off your balance.

Enroll in Internet Banking - Internet Banking makes it easy to monitor your account on a daily basis. Through Internet Banking you can verify items have cleared for the correct amounts and match your check register entries. Internet Banking is also a great way to monitor your account for transactions you may have forgotten to record and in some cases fraudulent activity that you have not authorized.

Reconcile Your Checks - In your check register, mark off each check that has cleared the bank. You can reconcile your checks against your bank statement or through online banking. Also, make sure that the check amount on your bank statement or from online banking is the same amount you recorded in your check register. You never know if you may have transposed numbers or wrote the wrong check amount in your register.

Be Accurate –Record Exact Amounts Record the exact amount of any debit or credit. Never round up or round down to the nearest dollar. This is a recipe for disaster. If a discrepancy comes up, it will be very difficult or nearly impossible to find the mistake.