Automatic teller machines are handy when you need cash on the fly and you are not near your bank. The problem is that if you are not careful, you can run into real problems when you become overdrawn on checks because of the cash you withdrew from an ATM. You can also assume you have less money in your account than in reality if you do not take into account deposits you have made through an ATM. To rectify the problem, you need to create a system to reconcile ATM transactions.
Save the ATM transaction receipt. Instead of throwing it away in the trash can next to the machine, fold it up and put it in your wallet or purse.
Make it a habit to put your ATM transaction receipts in a safe place when you return home. Ideally, the spot will be near where you reconcile your checkbook on a regular basis. Check your wallet or your purse every two days or so. The period is up to you, but it must be done on a regular basis, a couple of times a week.
View your statement when you receive it. Start with the earliest ATM transaction receipt of the month. Referring to each receipt and put a checkmark next to each ATM transaction that is accounted for on the statement. Dispose the receipts that are accounted for on the statement.
Add up all of the deposits that are outstanding based on the ATM transaction receipts that are not accounted for on the statement. Subtract the total amount of money withdrawn from ATMs based on the receipts that are not accounted for on the statement. Remember to add the transaction fees the ATM charged you. Some banks also charge you a fee based on the amount that you use your ATM card. Make sure that you account for that amount as well and add it to the total amount withdrawn and transaction fees.
Add the amount you found in Step 4 with the balance shown on your statement to reconcile ATM transactions if the amount is positive, meaning that you deposited more than you withdrew. If the amount is negative, subtract it from the balance shown on your statement to reconcile ATM transactions.
Brendan O'Brien is a professional journalist in Milwaukee, Wis. He has worked for several news organizations, newspapers such as the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" and trade magazines during his career of more than 15 years. He is currently a freelance writer who works for several publications.