Jun 16, 2006

Balancing Your Checkbook

I don't write down my checking account activity in my checkbook. In fact, my checkbook doesn't even have a paper register in it. Also, I don't balance my checking account at the end of the month. Most time I don't even look at the statement when I get it. Here's why. I use Quicken to manage my checking account, so my register is in the Quicken program, not it my checkbook. Rather than writing my transactions in the checkbook as I do them, I type them in to Quicken when I get home or as I write checks. At this point you are likely thinking that I might make a debit purchase for my lunch and forget to enter it. Well, here is how I avoid that. First, my checkbook never leaves my desk at home. Last month I only wrote one check. That was for my house payment. When I'm out I either pay in cash or by debit card. The days of writing checks in stores is over. I also have online banking through my credit union with unlimited online account access. Every day I review my checking account online to make sure that I have entered all of my activity and review what the credit union has processed. After I do that I use Quicken's reconcile feature to balance by account, eliminating the need to do the traditional end of the month balance against the monthly statement. I balance my checkbook against the bank daily, not monthly. This system lets me catch any debits I may have forgotten quickly, it lets me inquire about anything I don't immediately recognize and one time it allowed me to catch a transaction where a retailer had double charged me for a purchase on my debit card. Believe me this was easier to resolve on the same day it happened than it would have been at the end of the month. Even if you don't have financial software or the urge to use it, try using online account access each day to keep track of what is going on in your account. You may just save a overdraft fee or two. Just a tip, you might want to try. It works great for me. Tag: Tag:

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