photo of a check

How to Balance a Checkbook

Here are some tips to help you understand how to balance your checking account and why it’s so important.

Anytime you make a purchase using a check or debit card, in addition to any deposits made to the account, you will want to record this transaction in your check register. (It’s best to start balancing your checkbook when you first open the account, but it’s never too late to get organized!) Below is an example of how you can record and reconcile your checkbook.

sample of check register

Balancing your checkbook can be a tedious task, but can be one of the most effective ways to maintain your budget. It’s recommended that you record every transaction in your register right away, then depending on your financial situation, you may want to cross-reference what you see to be your balance against what you see on either your mobile banking or in your monthly paper statements. Not only will balancing your checkbook give you quick access to know what payments have and have not posted to your account, but you also have a reference when you want to look at how you are spending your money throughout the month.

In addition to utilizing the hard copy check register, there are many online apps that can help you manage and maintain your budget, such as everydollar.com and mint.com. When using these offline and online components in tandem, you will always have a good gauge of where your finances are.