Found at the back of your checkbook, a check register is where you keep track of deposits, payments and changes to your bank balance. If you don't want to use the register that comes in your checkbook, you can easily make your own. When you create your own register, you afford yourself a level of freedom unparalleled by ordinary checkbooks.
With the ease and availability of paying for purchases and bills online or with debit cards, you may not rely on checks the way previous generations once did. That in mind, you may not habitually carry a checkbook with you -- you simply don't need one on your person. By making your own register, then, you can keep track of your spending habits without constantly flipping to the back of a checkbook you rarely use. It also saves you the expense of buying new checkbooks just to use the registers in the back.
If you switch to homemade check registers, you don't have to carry your checkbook with you anymore. While this may free up room in your purse or pocket, it could also lull you into a false sense of security. Not carrying a checkbook may result in your not having it when you need it. You must also remember to continually print up new check registers so you do not run out.
Creating your own homemade check register is relatively inexpensive, particularly compared to the cost of ordering checks. On the Internet, you can find a variety of free check register templates that you can print out from your home computer. These registers are available in templates of varying complexity. For example, while some may simply leave you room for the simplest information pertaining to your purchases, others may give you room to include information such as whether an ATM fee was assessed as part of your withdrawal.
Homemade check registers, like any DIY project, give you the power to customize your creation. For example, you may choose to print out a check register on patterned paper or with a font of your own choosing. Once it is printed, you can bind it in a customized register book -- you may press it into the pages of a journal, for example, or sew a fabric cover to wrap around a bound register book of your own creation. Unlike checkbooks, which are limited in their capacity for customization, you can alter a homemade check register as much or as little as you wish.
- Printable Paper: Printable Check Register
- Capital One. "Balance Your Checkbook Today for a Better Tomorrow." Accessed March 19, 2020.
- Oklahoma State Department of Education. "Tracking Your Money," Pages 4-5. Accessed March 19, 2020.
- Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. "How Can My Account Be Overdrawn When I Just Made a Deposit?" Accessed March 19, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "How Do I Get My Money Back After I Discovered an Unauthorized Transaction or Money Missing From My Bank Account?" Accessed March 19, 2020.
- Community 1st Credit Union. "Know Your Checking Account," Page 1. Accessed March 19, 2020.
- St. Paul Youth Resources. "Understanding Your Bank Statement," Page 1. Accessed March 19, 2020.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.