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Help With Balancing Your Checkbook

Eight Simple Steps for Balancing your Checkbook

Do You Fit in One of these Categories?

  • Nice try, But…  
    You try to balance your checkbook using pencil and paper, but find it frustrating and have difficulty making the numbers agree.
  • See No Evil
    You avoid the frustration altogether by:
  1. Ignoring your monthly statement altogether
  2. Using the bank’s balance, or
  3. Keeping an approximation in your head.

This article will help simplify the balancing process and hopefully reduce the anxiety level when your bank statement arrives.

How Your Bank Statement Works

Seldom will your bank statement and checkbook register agree. But, that is no reason to panic. It’s merely a matter of timing.

Your statement lists the transactions posted to or cleared from your account as of the closing date. The closing date is usually found in the upper right-hand corner of the first page of your statement.

Once your statement has closed, it will take a few days for the information to be printed and for it to arrive in the mail. Meanwhile, you are continuing to write checks, make ATM withdrawals and/or deposits, and hopefully, keeping track of these transactions in your checkbook register.

Remember, it also takes a few days for your checks, ATM, Mastercard® debit card, and/or deposit transactions to be recorded on your account.

Sign up for eStatements and Online Banking to be able to view activity on your account without having to wait for a mailed statement! With eStatements, you can view, print and save your monthly statements electronically and with Online Banking, you can take care of your everyday banking transactions – transfer funds, check account balances, make loan payments – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Record, Balance, Repeat

Recording each transaction in your checkbook register and adding or subtracting it from the balance is the first step to simplifying the balancing act.

It’s important to record the transaction at the time you actually write the check, make a withdrawal, or make a deposit. By recording the transactions and balancing your account total in your checkbook register, you’ll get a clearer picture of your spending habits and know exactly how much money you have. And, if for some reason you detect a problem, the sooner you are able to correct it.

The Balancing Act

Balancing your checkbook each month within a day or two of receiving your statement will not only reduce your stress level, it will lessen the amount of time it takes to complete the task.

On the back of your monthly statement is a handy form to help you balance. Use it along with the following steps to make balancing a snap.

Before you begin, gather the following:

  • Your last two bank statements
  • Your checkbook and register
  • Any ATM and/or Mastercard® debit card receipts that you did not record in your checkbook register
  • A pencil

Eight Steps to Balancing

 

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