Many people attempt to keep track of their checking account balance by checking the ATM or logging into their personal accounts on their banking institution's website. These methods, however, are unreliable if you have forgotten about a check that you have written or a bank fee associated with a foreign ATM. The most reliable way to keep track of your bank account balance is by using your checkbook register and reconciling it at least once per month. To do this, you must keep track of all receipts for purchases and ATM withdrawals, all deposits that you have made and all checks that you have written.
Review your checkbook register and your receipts to ensure that you have recorded all of your transactions up to the current date. Organize your receipts by date and review your register to make sure they are all recorded. Add any banking fees associated with ATM transactions in your register if the receipts do not account for them.
Compare the balance in your checkbook register on the date that your bank account statement was printed with the statement balance. If the numbers match, then you have accounted for all transactions. If the numbers do not match, compare each transaction in your bank statement to your checkbook register. Adjust your checkbook register to correct any errors that you have made. Call the bank if it has committed any errors.
Reconcile your checkbook register to the current date. Write your statement balance on a new sheet of paper and add every deposit that you have made since the bank statement was printed. Take the sum of the two numbers and subtract all checks and other withdrawals made since the statement was printed. Compare this amount to the current total in your checkbook register. The numbers should be the same. If the numbers are not the same, go back over your receipts and checks to make sure that you have written them down correctly and recalculate your math.
- MoneyInstructor.com: How to Balance Your Checkbook
- Financial Web: Balancing Act: Keeping Your Checkbook in the Black
- 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.
Hal Bartle has been writing professionally since 2009. He has been published on various websites. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Saint Joseph's University and a Juris Doctor from Duquesne University School of Law.