Saturday, October 8, 2011

How To Balance Your Checkbook

HowCast: How To Balance Your Checkbook

Do you cross your fingers when you write a check, hoping it won't bounce? Then it's time to learn how to monitor your finances.

To complete this How-To you will need:

A checkbook registry
Lined paper
A pen or pencil
And basic math skills

Step 1: Keep track
Keep track of all the checks your write, the money you withdraw from your checking account at ATMs, and the purchases you make with a debit card. Enter everything into the registry that came with your checkbook.

Step 2: Get organized
Find or download your latest bank statement, grab your checkbook registry, a piece of lined paper, and a pen or pencil.

Step 3: Mark cleared checks
Look at your statement to see which checks have cleared, and tick them off in your register.

Step 4: Verify deposits
Verify that any deposits listed on the statement are recorded in your register. If they're not, enter them.

Step 5: Reconcile withdrawals
Compare any withdrawals you made, whether through a bank teller, an ATM machine, or a debit card, with the amounts debited on your bank statement. If you missed any, write them in your checkbook registry now.

Tip: Keep your ATM receipts until you can verify them on your bank statement.

Step 6: See what's left
Note any additional amounts listed on your statement, like interest added to your account or bank fees that were deducted. Record these in your register. Then update your ending balance.

Step 7: Create a balancing ledger
Take the piece of lined paper and divide it into two columns. In the first column, write down all your outstanding deposits and total them. In the second column, add up your outstanding checks and any cash withdrawals or debit purchases that are not on your bank statement.

Step 8: Do some math
Take the ending balance on your bank statement, add the outstanding deposit total, and then subtract the outstanding checks, withdrawals, and debit charges. This is the total amount currently available to you in your checking account. And your checkbook is now balanced!

Thanks for watching How To Balance Your Checkbook!