Balancing your checkbook is one of the most basic habits for good money management. Our goal is to 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 through 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.
The day following your statement closing date, your statement is available for viewing through Online Banking (sign up for Online Banking). Otherwise you can expect to receive your statement in the mail within a few days. Meanwhile, it is important as you continue to write checks, make ATM withdrawals and/or deposits, that you track these transactions in your checkbook register.
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 is 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 will 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 can correct it, the better. If you forget to record a transaction, you can find it easily through Online Banking.
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 reduce the amount of time it takes to complete the task. (To verify your account balance in between statements, you may want to consider signing up for Online Banking.) You can use the Check Reconciliation Worksheet to help you balance your account.
Before you begin balancing your checkbook, gather the following: