BALANCING a checkbook can feel like a chore, but it’s important to keep track of your spending and income.
If you’re unsure of how to go about it, we explain what you need to know.
What does it mean to balance your checkbook?
Balancing your checkbook is sometimes known as balancing your checking account.
This means that you make sure that the records you’ve kept for your spending and income match your physical or online statements.
This is a handy way to keep track of your transactions, and will help you catch any mistakes early.
It’s also a way to catch identity theft or fraud because you’ll see any odd charges as you’re balancing the account.
How do you balance a checkbook?
- Write down your transactions
Before you can balance your checking account, you’ll need to note down the transactions you make.
You can do this in a so-called check register or make your own spreadsheet.
Make sure you do this with any payment, as well as money coming into your account, and add it all up.
Some people will write down transactions as they happen, while others keep hold of the receipts to do it later.
Whatever option you decide to go for, make sure too much time doesn’t pass or you’ll struggle to remember or may lose the receipts.
2. Open checking account statement and check all transactions
Once you’re ready to check all your transactions, go through your checking account statement and note down the balance.
You should be able to find this by logging into your online or mobile banking app, unless you’ve had a paper copy.
Then simply make sure every transaction on the statement is also in your register, including pending payments.
If the withdrawals, deposits and the balance on your register is the same as the ones on your online statement, then your checkbook is balanced.
If the numbers don’t align, go further back in your records and transaction history to find out why.
3. Repeat the process regularly
It’s worth to repeat the process every few weeks to make sure you’re on track with your spending.
This way there’ll be a smaller risk that transactions slip past you.
However, if you’re only able to do it once a month, then this is better than nothing.
We’ve explained how to write a check.
Meanwhile, families must check their bank details to stop delays for up to $3,600 child tax credit payments.
It comes as some households will receive the cash by check, which take longer to receive.