Balancing Your Checkbook

Balancing your checkbook really isn’t hard. Sure, some people have a hard time with it, but they probably haven’t had it properly explained to them or it would not be of such a concern. Balancing your checkbook is really just simple arithmetic which you surely learned in grade school. And since calculators that do the addition and subtraction for you are so cheap these days – some for as little as two dollars each at the discount stores, and solar powered so you don’t even need batteries, then balancing your checkbook should be a snap.

To start with, whenever you make a deposit into your checking account, make sure that you write the amount down in the ledger pad the bank provides you. Then be sure to deduct any fees you may have. If you just opened the checking account you have an opening balance, and then you have to pay for your checks. Some banks also charge monthly fees so be sure to deduct those if there are any.

Then, whenever you make other deposits be sure to write them down. Also be sure to total the amount up. Always have the total balance written in the space provided so that you know how much money you have. When you write a check, write the number of the check to the left, along with the date you wrote it, who you wrote it to and any notes you might want to make. For instance, was it a check to the landlord for the rent? If so, then write rent after his name, and the month it covered. Then you won’t be confused in the future and wonder who you wrote that check to.

If you have an ATM card or automatic teller machine card, and use it to make cash withdrawals, be sure to note those in the ledger also. Many people these days have debit cards or check cards that they use as though they were credit cards. These cards have the logo on them of one of the major credit card processing companies and work for practical purposes just like a credit card, except that the money comes right out of your checking account. When you use your debit card, it is like writing a check so be sure you write the amount down and deduct it, and then run a total.

Some people like to have some of their bills paid automatically each month. They sign a form that allows the phone company, or the cable TV company or another company they need to pay to deduct the money automatically from the checking account. This can be convenient, but remember to write down the amount deducted. If you forget you won’t know what your balance is and won’t know how much money you really have. Also, some people have paychecks automatically deposited in the bank every payday. If you do, then write the date on your calendar. You can check the balance by calling your bank or going on line and correct the balance in the checkbook with the information they give you. So you see, balancing a checkbook really is very easy.