Balancing your checkbook actually sounds a little out-moded nowadays as, in England, of late, many outlets have stopped accepting cheques. However, whether it is your checkbook receipts or those of your switch and debit cards, the principles are pretty much the same.
Keep a record of any transactions
Make sure that you fill in any cheque stubs with amounts and dates, and keep receipts for debit and credit card payments in a safe place. When your bank statements arrive, either through the post or on-line, you will have something to check against them.Years ago written records of bills and expenditure were kept, so that these could be balanced. Such careful budgeting can help keep you financially afloat. Today, however, many people use a simple and cheap piece of software which enables the user to input any expenditure be it bills, groceries or whatever. Alternatively use your banks on-line banking service. Either of these makes balancing the books, so to speak, easy. The best time to reconcile these figures will depend on when you are paid. This could be weekly, calendar monthly or four weekly. Such a reconciliation of accounts prevents any problems getting out of hand.
Reconcile your accounts
In plain English what you need to do is have a starting total at the beginning of each month. As you deduct any cheques and debits, obviously that total decreases. Remember to add in any credits no matter how small they are. At the end of each month total the debits and credits to find the new balance. This amount should balance with your bank account statement.
There are a few reasons why it is important to balance your check book, credits and debits.
Sometimes we do not realise just how much money we may waste on trivial things. Seeing the amount in the cold light of day can make you reconsider your expenditure.
In these days of identity theft and increased fraud it is more important than ever to make sure that any transactions made on your bank account are yours. Any frauds need discovering sooner rather than later and stopping at once.
Remember not all bank employees are honest and it is always better to keep a watchful eye on your bank account .
If you are balancing your books on a regular, perhaps weekly, basis there should be no sudden shocks. If you see that funds are low you can make sure no unnecessary cheques or debits are written and taken from your account.
Finally, it will help you to work out a sensible budget for future months. There will be some unavoidable expenses which perhaps you will need ensure that sufficient funds are always available for. Also, you can check the date that cheques are coming out of your account so that there are no unnecessary charges. If needed a small deposit to your cheque account will keep you in credit.
Unless you monitor your bank account, cheques and debits, you will never keep to a budget .