One of the most important tasks to master is balancing your checkbook. The inability to balance your checkbook can cause major headaches and grief. Many people put it off or do a sloppy job because they simply regard it as a difficult chore. A balanced checkbook ensures that you know exactly the amount of funds in your checking account. Taking the time to balance your checkbook every month will give you piece of mind and help you to plan your monthly budget and expenses. Although it is a chore, it should only take you about 15 to 30 minutes. It is well worth the time.
The Things You Need
It is easier to complete a chore quickly and efficiently if you have everything you need before you start. To balance your checkbook you need the following:(1) A clean and uncluttered surface such as a table or desk.(2) A calculator.(3) A pencil and eraser.(4) Credit card receipts, ATM withdrawal and deposit receipts, bank statement, returned checks, and check book.
Put Everything In Order
Organize the return checks in order according to check number. Arrange the credit card receipts by the date of the receipt. Match the every check in your bank statement with entry in your checkbook. Do the same thing with all the credit card and ATM receipts.
Carefully Review Your Receipts
Compare all the receipts with your bank statement. The receipts should match both the ledger in our checkbook and the bank statement.
Look For Extra Fees
One of the things that people neglect or overlook are addition fees that a bank or ATM machine may change. Banks may charge an overdraft or a ATM may charge you for using their machine. All of these fees need to be recognized and included when you balance your checkbook. The fees will be indicated in your bank statement and on ATM receipts. The fees need to be included in the ledger of your checkbook in order to balance it accurately because this money comes out of your checking account. Your checkbook will now be up-to-date. If you notice entries in the ledger that do not appear in the bank statement there is no need to worry. They will appear on your next month’s bank statement. Adjust the entries accordingly to arrive at the precise balance in your checking account.
Enter Your Balance In the Ledger
Write the new updated balance in your ledger. It is also a good idea to write the amount on the back of your bank statement. This will help you to remember that you have worked through the statement and balanced your checkbook.
The Final Step
The final step consists is adding the outstanding deposits and subtracting the outstanding checks and withdrawals to the bank statement. This number should match the new balance you have entered in your checkbook ledger. If it does not match, then you have made an error somewhere. Double check your work and hopefully the error will turn up. If you can’t reconcile the bank statement with the ledge, contact your bank. They will charge you a minimal fee, but you will have piece of mind.