Checking Account Spreadsheets

Checking Account Spreadsheets
••• balancing checkbook image by palms from

Keeping track of your checking account is important, and sometimes a check register simply is not enough. Modern technology can make the process of balancing a checkbook and avoiding overdrafts a lot easier. By using a spreadsheet program and your online banking program, you can see your account balance at a glance and avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Log on to your computer and open your spreadsheet program. Click on the "File" menu and choose "New" to start a new spreadsheet. Save the file with a distinctive name like "Checking Account Summary."

Create a column for your headings. Use a heading for "Beginning Balance," "Checks and Debits," "Deposits and Credits," and "Current Balance."

Create a column to hold the current balance from your checkbook. Create a column to list all checks and other debits from the account. Create another column in which to list all deposits and credits. Format these cells to display dollars and cents.

Enter the balance from your checkbook into the "Starting Balance" column. Make sure the balance is entered correctly.

Log on to your online banking service and print a list of your most recent transactions. Type those transactions into your spreadsheet. Use a minus sign before each check or debit entry, i.e. -8.53, -10.00. Use postiive numbers for any deposits and credits.

Go to the bottom of the column where your beginning balance is stored. Create a label to the left called "Current Balance." Create a formula to add the prior balance, checks and deposits. For instance, if your data is located in cells B1 through D20, the formula would read "=SUM(B1:D20)." Using negative numbers for the checks and debits allows you to use the =SUM feature to simplify the calculations.