Eight Steps for Balancing Your Checkbook


1. Record Interest Earned

In your checkbook register, enter all of the interest earned on your account (if applicable). The interest earned will appear on the front of your statement. Add this to your balance. Be sure to record any other credit amounts listed, such as bank corrections.

2. Record Service Charges, Etc.

In your checkbook register, record any charges that have been subtracted from your account, as shown on your statement. These charges may include monthly service charges, per check charges, ATM transaction charges and non-sufficient funds fees.

3. Verify Deposit Amounts

Look at your latest statement and verify that all deposits listed match the deposit amounts listed in your checkbook register. Make a list of any deposits that are listed in your register but do not appear on your statement. Add these together. (TIP: Use the You can use the Check Reconciliation Worksheet to help you balance your account).

4. Match All Check Entries

Match all the entries in your checkbook register with the transactions listed on your bank statement. Compare check numbers, dates, and dollar amounts on all checks written. If these items match, place a check mark “3” next to the transaction in both your register and on the bank statement. If they don’t match, circle the item in both places so that you can come back to fix the error once all of the transactions have been checked off.

If transactions don’t match, check for one of these errors:

  • The item was recorded incorrectly in your checkbook register
  • The item was paid or was credited to your account for the wrong amount, or
  • Your check numbers were listed incorrectly

To correct the errors:

  • Simply look at and/or recheck your canceled checks or check images, deposit receipts, and/or ATM and Debit MasterCard® receipts.
  • Remember some items will not be checked off. These are called “outstanding items.” Note: If you do not have cancelled checks or images returned with your statement, contact your local branch office and have them send a copy of the item in question.

5. Check for outstanding items from previous statements

Be sure that all of the outstanding items from your previous statements have been included in this statement. Otherwise, they are still outstanding. Note: If an item is outstanding for 60 days or more, contact the person or company you wrote the check to and see if the check has been received. If it hasn’t, the check may have been lost and you may want to call the bank and make a stop payment.

6. Verify other debits on statement

Verify that additional withdrawals listed on your statement, other than checks, are charged for the amount actually drawn. This includes ATM withdrawals, Debit MasterCard® transactions and any automatic debit transactions like insurance payments, loan and/or utility payments.

7. List all outstanding checks

Make a list of all outstanding checks or ATM/Debit MasterCard® withdrawals. These are transactions that appear in your checkbook register that do not have a check mark "3” next to them. Add these items together (TIP: Use the Check Reconciliation Worksheet to help you balance your account).

8. Balance

Now, balance your checkbook register to your bank statement. Use the formula below, which is also located on the worksheet on the back of your printed statement. Compare this total with the ending balance in your checkbook register. They should be the same. If not, there’s a mistake. Do not panic! This can be easily fixed. If they are the same, congratulations! You’ve successfully balanced your checkbook!

If things don’t add up…

  • Take a short break to clear your head.
  • Start by re-verifying your outstanding items.
  • What’s the difference? Is your checkbook balance higher or lower than your statement? Subtract the smaller figure from the larger one to get the difference. Now…
  • Divide the difference by 9. If the difference is equally divisible by 9, the problem may be transposed numbers. For example, $258 was recorded as $285. Look over your receipts and cancelled checks and double-check your amounts.
  • Divide the difference by 2. If the answer you get is a “normal” dollars-and-cents amount (e.g., $7.19 rather than $15.125), look for that amount in your register…it was added instead of subtracted, or vice-versa.

Still doesn’t balance?

Well, you’ve tried hard and made every effort. Now it’s time to ask for help. Call us or come by one of our locations. You will need to bring in your current bank statement and your checkbook register. Every effort will be made to assist you in balancing your checkbook, and next time it will be easier.