How to Balance Your Checkbook ? Get a Calculator and Pencil and You are Ready To Go!

Despite how easy it is to balance a checkbook, very few people take the time to do it and the few who do, don't always do it the right way. If you write down in your checkbook ledger what should be deducted and added, you are on the right track ? if not, start there and follow these nine easy steps to a balanced checkbook. Once you are comfortable with these nine steps, it is possible to balance your checkbook each month within 30-45 minutes.

9 Steps

  • Make sure that all deposits, withdrawals (maintenance fees, ATM fees, and automatic payments) are added and subtracted and calculate the balance as of the last transaction made.
  • Keep all check-card receipts, duplicate checks (or returned checks from the bank) and withdrawal slips until you sit down to balance your checkbook.
  • Mark an "x" in your checkbook by each transaction that has gone through the bank. It is easy to do once your statement arrives and you can put all checks in numerical order and easily check them off.
  • Do the same thing with any ATM withdrawals or check-card purchases.
  • Make any adjustments necessary to "true-up" your ledger and comparing deposit slips and purchases/withdrawals. *If you notice any discrepancies between your records and the bank's ? give your bank a call.
  • To calculate your balance write down your checkbook's current balance at the top of a piece of paper (normally the backside of your statement will have a worksheet to complete for this task).
  • Subtract any amounts for un-cleared deposits and bank fees such as monthly fees or for any insufficient funds charges.
  • Add any un-cleared checks and the interest you have earned to this figure.
  • Finally, compare the final figure that you have to your bank statement ? they should match.

With very little effort, it is easy to keep track of expenses and stay out of trouble with your bank. Balancing your checkbook is very important because you will avoid overdraft or insufficient funds fees due to bouncing checks because of not knowing your balance. In addition you will protect your credit and verify that your financial institution has made no mistakes. You'll also be able to keep better track of cash flow and manage your money with far fewer headaches and surprises.

If You Can't Get Your Checkbook to Balance; Try These Tips!

From time to time, everyone records something wrong or adds incorrectly ? and a few easy tricks make it easy to find that error.

  • Verify that the dollar amount of the items entered in your ledger matches with the dollar amount of the items on the bank statement.
  • Compare ledger and deposit slips with your statement.
  • If the error is a whole number, check your addition and subtraction again.
  • If the number is divisible by nine, you may have transposed figures ($63 recorded instead of $36).
  • If the balances still won't match up and you can't find the problem, make an appointment with your bank to figure out the problem. Most banks offer help complimentary or for a nominal fee.

Here are Some Helpful Hints to Stay in Balance

  • Review your checkbook register regularly to ensure that you've entered in all transactions.
  • Enter the name of the payee and the amount in your ledger when you write your check instead of waiting until right before you balance it.
  • Place decimal points exactly where they should be to avoid calculation errors.
  • Keep all ATM, check-card or deposit/withdrawal receipts together until you are ready to balance your checkbook.

Robb Ksiazek is a successful author and publisher for Checks-4U.com. He has researched and written hundreds of articles and can simplify your online search by recommending merchants for the best value and selections in business or personal checks, address labels, rubber stamps and envelopes.

In The News:

Money matters: Personal finance is not rocket science  YourStoryDo you think that personal finance is all about number crunching? Allow us to break this long standing myth, says our finance writer, who is Co-Founder, Pay it ...
Audit your personal finances to keep money matters in order  Moneycontrol.comA personal finance audit will help you stay on track and make adjustments to keep your finances in order.
CountAbout Review 2019: Personal Finance Software - Pros & Cons  MoneyCheckCountAbout can help you manage your everyday finances. Read our indepth review of the personal finance tracking app - Complete Guide.
An RD with banks or a PPF account? Answers to your personal finance queries  The HinduQ. My father is retiring on July 31. He wants to invest ₹5 lakh. Please advise.Rishabh DubeyA.The investment recommendation would depend on his goals.
3 Essential personal finance tips for millennials  Dalal Street Investment JournalMillennials, with more ethnically diverse thoughts, are often much educated than their predecessors. However, when it comes to finance, they face difficulties in ...
5 steps to smooth closure of your credit card account  Moneycontrol.comAlways follow the right procedure when cancelling a credit card. Otherwise, it could adversely impact your personal finances and affect your credit report.
Tips for millennials to manage their personal finance  The Asian AgeAccounting for 47 per cent share in the working age population they are the chief wage earners, the largest demographic group in the country and characterised ...
5 Reasons Personal Finance Should Be Taught In School  ForbesHaving basic personal financial skills is one of the most important things you can do to live a healthy, happy and secure life. Your level of understanding around ...
Should Helicopter Personal Finance Be a Thing?  Triple PunditWe often resist help, including when it comes to personal finance. Should banks be more proactive in bolstering Americans' financial security?
Why the world of personal finance needs more politics  The Washington PostWhen I ran into Nicole Dieker at FinCon, the annual conference of personal finance bloggers, the freelance writer and editor of the now-defunct website the ...
What is Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana? Answers to your personal finance queries  The HinduQ. During the interim Budget in February , the Finance Minister relaxed long-term capital gains tax norms whereby one could invest in two residential properties ...
Finally get a grip on your personal finances with this expert help  New York Post Getting good with money doesn't have to be a pipe dream.
How I Save: The redundant personal finance blogger with £4,000 saved  Metro.co.ukJenni is a personal finance blogger who was recently made redundant from her main job. How does she spend and save her money?
7 smart tips to protect you from drowning in financial mess  India TV NewsPersonal Financial Tips News: Personal Finance Guides & Financial Advice, Money plays a very important role in our day to day life. But, today the prime fear ...
Started As An Accident, The Penny Hoarder Has Become One Of The Trailblazers In Personal Finance  BenzingaIf you've googled a personal finance question in the last nine years, you've probably come across The Penny Hoarder. Founded in 2010 by Kyle Taylor as an ...
Weekend catchup — this week’s personal finance headlines  Financial TimesDuty free shopping, recession fears ease, PPI costs rise.
4 Simple Tricks for Boosting Your Credit Score  Helena Independent RecordYour credit score is more than just a three-digit number. Having an excellent credit score opens up all kinds of doors for you, as banks will be eager to lend ...
Get your personal finance audited  Dalal Street Investment JournalWhen it comes to auditing, we usually think of a Chartered Accountant (CA) who audits your balance sheets, profit and loss statement, etc. He/she does so to ...
Personal Finance Daily: What NOT to do with your savings as interest rates fall and another state rolled out a free-college plan  ForexTV.comPrevious: Netsurion Named to 2019 MSSP Alert Top 200 Managed Security Services Providers List · Next: ROSEN, A LEADING LAW FIRM, Continues to ...
Why women should take a personal finance day from this Houston founder  InnovationMapYou've seen the statistics on Americans' financial health. The average American is not in great shape: $6000 per person in credit card debt, $4900 per person in ...
Personal Finance Queries For The Day (02-09-2019)  Outlook IndiaPersonal finance queries responded by industry & subject-matter experts.
Do you really need an emergency fund?  The NationalZach Holz analyses different schools of thought on this financial safety net.
The balance sheet of life: Knowing the three phases of personal finance - The Jakarta Post  Jakarta PostSo, what phase are you in? And how is your financial condition?
BQ Big Decisions: Are Women Better At Handling Money Than Men?  BloombergQuintThe BQ Big Decisions podcast gets you the insight you need to make big money decisions with confidence. It's safe to say that most men and women regard ...
Personal Finance Queries For The Day (26-08-2019)  Outlook IndiaPersonal finance queries responded by industry & subject-matter experts.
Millennials & Money: The Personal Finance Struggle is Real  MoneyCheckWe take a look at the money challenges that millenials are faced with that previous generations didn't have & look at ways to overcome this.
Personal Finance App Market May Set New Growth Story | Intuit, Personal Capital, Lampo Licensing, Wally Yachts, Acorns Grow  Indian ColumnistHTF MI recently introduced Global Personal Finance App Market study with in-depth overview, describing about the Product / Industry Scope and elaborates ...
Are there special NRI/RNOR income tax provisions? Answers to your personal finance queries  The HinduQ. I have opened a capital gains account with a balance of ₹20 lakh. A major part of this would go to my builder who will be handing over the possession of our ...
Insider Buying: International Personal Finance Plc (LON:IPF) Insider Acquires 100,000 Shares of Stock  Mayfield RecorderInternational Personal Finance Plc (LON:IPF) insider Gerard Ryan acquired 100000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September ...
Before Politics, Elizabeth Warren Gained a Following With a Personal Finance Book  Yahoo News(Bloomberg) -- A few years out of college, Sarah Sparkman was struggling with debt. She pored over personal finance books, but says the advice was ...
Money trolls: Why are we so judgmental about other people's finances?  USA TODAYMany people are quick to judge a person's money decisions rather than understand their financial position. Why are we judgmental about money?
JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo are investing in a personal finance management app for children  Business InsiderJPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo joined a $54 million Series B round for Greenlight, a children-focused personal finance management startup.
Trump Announced He'll Release 'Extremely Complete' Personal Finance Report  NewsweekPresident Donald Trump told reporters he would release an "extremely complete" report of his personal finances prior to the 2020 election. However, Trump ...
Personal Finance & Budgeting Software Market In-Depth Analysis & Marginal Revenue Growth 2019-2025 : EveryDollar, LearnVest, PocketGuard, Moneydance  Indian ColumnistHTF MI recently Announced Global Personal Finance & Budgeting Software study with 100+ market data Tables and Figures spread through Pages and easy to ...
The Fed just cut interest rates. Here's how to boost your savings  CNBCAs the Federal Reserve lowers rates, it's a good idea to make sure your savings are still getting the biggest boost. The central bank cut its benchmark short-term ...
Real estate coordinator wants personal finance course for all students  The RangerStudents need a knowledge of savings, credit card debt and investment in a retirement plan, she said. By Andrew Casas. [email protected] Dr. Melissa ...
PERSONAL FINANCE MANAGEMENT: How banks should use personalized services to increase customer satisfaction and  Business Insider IndiaThe ability to conduct banking activities via a sleek mobile app is no longer enough to satisfy consumers - it's table stakes.Banks need to focus on deploying.
Even in India, it is hard for active fund managers to outperform the market: Morningstar  Moneycontrol.comIf you're having or if you're trying to have a large-cap exposure, passive investing, especially if it is at the right price, can make sense for a lot of investors.
Help for those having trouble affording a home  The Globe and MailPlus ground rules for parents on helping kids buy a house.
Here's What Americans Are Making at Every Age  Journal TimesIt's not unusual to wonder how your income compares to that of your friends, family members, or neighbors, and new data from GOBankingRates might answer ...
4 Realities of Being a Manager  Sioux City JournalMany professionals aspire to become managers. If you feel you're a natural leader and enjoy being in that type of role, then a management position may be right ...
Next Gen Personal Finance Offers US High Schools $1 Million Challenge  PRNewswirePALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Next Gen Personal Finance has announced that it will award $1 million in grants to public high schools that...
Best Personal Finance Books: College Student Budget Tips  MONEYCollege is starting, and we asked experts for the best personal finance books to help college students budget and save money.
5 Steps for a DIY Personal Finance Audit  Stash LearnUse the waning days of summer to take stock of personal finance basics.
Frightening facts about Americans' personal finances  The American LegionHere's a roundup of five scary personal finance statistics that may startle you into a course correction.
The 'Money Talks' series offers free personal finance education  University of MiamiThe University of Miami new Money Management Program is aimed at complementing existing financial wellness resources.
A flight attendant saved 25 times her cost of living and plans to retire at 44. Here's how she did it.  Business InsiderBianca DiValerio is a flight attendant who has achieved financial independence through the "Financial Independence, Retire Early" method and writes a blog ...
How does Social Security fit into your retirement income strategy?  St. Louis AmericanIt might not be on your calendar, but Aug. 14 is Social Security Day. Since it was enacted on Aug. 14, 1935, Social Security has provided some financial support ...
What Is a Personal Financial Specialist (PFS)?  Yahoo FinanceThe Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) certification helps Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) demonstrate an expertise in all aspects of wealth management.
Personal Loan: How to choose the best scheme online in India  MoneycontrolInstant Personal Loan Online: Get an overview of Personal Loan Eligibility, Interest Rates & more at Moneycontrol. Also, find out the list of tops banks offering ...
Pre-approved personal loan: All you need to know  Livemint“Hassle free experience with minimum documentation, no bank visits, no unwanted calls. Get pre-approved-personal loans with faster disbursal." You might ...
How To Put Your Money Into The Right Boxes  BloombergQuintWe tend to treat money differently based on the source of its inflow, and the purpose we assign to it. It speaks of a bias that mentally compartmentalises money ...
How to safeguard your finances in an economic slowdown  LivemintAny form of economic slowdown has a direct and indirect impact on your personal finances too.You cannot control the economic environment or your income ...
6 Best Free Dating Sites | Personal Finance  U.S News & World Report MoneyIf you're in the dating circuit – spending money on meals at restaurants and bars and tickets at movies and museums – then you know how expensive it can be.
Income tax department issues warning against this fake SMS  LivemintThe income tax department has warned against a fake SMS doing the rounds.You should never click on such links sent in SMSes as it could be a phishing trap.
Consumer sentiment slips amid personal finance fears  economiaConsumer confidence has dropped to its lowest point since January last year, as concerns over Brexit and the wider economy continue to affect sentiment.
Personal Finance & Budgeting Software Market: Future Innovation Ways, Growth & Profit Analysis, Forecast By 2025  Commerce GazettePersonal Finance & Budgeting Software Market is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the Personal Finance & Budgeting Software industry.
Investing in digital gold is easy, but should you?  LivemintImagine being able to buy physical gold for as low an investment amount as ₹1 from the comfort of your home, without worrying about its purity, safety and ...
The Fed's rate cut may hurt US retirement security. These countries offer more  CNBCAs the Federal Reserve cuts rates, that could make it more difficult for retirees to earn income on their investments and preserve capital. A new ranking takes a ...
Personal Finance Daily: Could a spike in gas prices scare Americans into a recession and America had another death linked to vaping-related lung illness  ForexTV.comPrevious: NewLink Genetics Announces FDA Accepts Partnered Biologics License Application (BLA) and Grants Priority Review for Ebola Vaccine V920 ...
It's official! Region's leading personal finance comparison platform Souqalmal.com is now LIVE in Bahrain!  Startup MGZNSouqalmal.com, the region's leading personal finance comparison platform has officially launched operations in Bahrain. Not only was Souqalmal one of the ...
Understanding Asset Allocation – A Portfolio For Rainy And Sunny Days  BloombergQuintDon't put all your eggs in one basket, goes the famous proverb. 'Asset allocation' and 'portfolio diversification' are the most extensively used phrases we come ...
Yahoo Finance morning wrap for Thursday  Yahoo FinanceGood morning. Here's everything you need to know in Australia and beyond to kick off your Thursday: Stocks: The ASX is expected to open higher after the US ...
India's households turning austere, RBI's retail debt data says  Moneycontrol.comDebt is widely considered the lifeblood of commerce. Retail (or consumer) debt has long been a measure of the proclivity of people to spend (sometimes money ...
Stick to traffic rules and avoid increases in motor premium  Moneycontrol.comThis shift would mean that the premium would depend on driving behaviour rather than car make.
What are the documents required for personal loan?  MoneycontrolPersonal Loan Documents: Find out the list of documents required for Salaried, Self-employed & NRI individuals while applying for Personal Loan at ...
Personal Finance 101: Work wardrobe shopping  Pittsburgh Post-GazetteStylists chime in on what to buy and how much to spend on work attire.
This could be the all-time most ignored piece of personal-finance advice  The Globe and MailIn the digital age, a well-drafted will has taken a significantly different form.
More high-income workers claiming disability benefits  Independent OnlineSouth African employees are claiming more than ever on their group disability benefits.
How ULIPs stack up against MFs  Moneycontrol.comOne major advantage of investing in ULIPs today is that the withdrawal is tax free. This is irrespective of whether the funds are invested in equity or debt.
Behind at Work? Do These 3 Things Now  The MissoulianSometimes it only takes something small to derail your progress at work. Maybe you lost a day due to illness, or a series of meetings caused you to lose time to ...
External benchmark for floating rate loans from October 1  Zee NewsThe Reserve Bank of India has been long examining the feasibility of mandating the use of external benchmark for determining interest rate on floating rate ...
Welcome to Personal Finance 101. What would you like to learn?  Pittsburgh Post-GazetteWelcome to Personal Finance 101. We've called this a back-to-school adulting series because the stories are on practical topics that could be helpful to young ...
Five things to watch out for in Nirmala Sitharaman's meeting with PSB heads  LivemintFinance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will meet heads of public sector banks (PSBs) on Thursday for a review meeting. Besides other issues, the meeting will ...
How to Get Rich (the Right Way) | Saving and Budgeting  U.S News & World Report MoneyTamping down on spending and taking advantage of employee benefits will help you grow your wealth and get rich.
Retirees are spending nearly $1,000 on this medical cost — and Medicare doesn't cover it  CNBCIt's no secret that retirees shell out plenty of cash for health care expenses, but here's one cost that may go overlooked: Your dental care. Medicare doesn't pay ...
Personal Finance Show: Eking out bond yields and a new role for equity income  Investors ChronicleIn this week's show Tabula Investment Management founder Michael John Lytle talks to deputy personal finance editor Dave Baxter about the growing world of ...
Personal Finance Show: Woodford gets drastic and the Brexit portfolio  Investors ChronicleOn this week's show personal finance editor Leonora Walters discusses the latest big move from Neil Woodford and the potential rationale behind it. And Ed ...
Types of personal loans in India  Moneycontrol.comTypes of Personal Loan: Check out the different types of Credit Card available in India to meet your personal or household expenses. Click the link above to ...
Consider the impact of taxes on a deceased estate  Independent OnlineIn recent years it has become increasingly important to take into account the impact of tax on a deceased estate when attending ...
Personal Finance Show: IC Top 100 Funds 2019 and Merian's unquoted sale  Investors ChronicleIn this week's show David Liddell, chief executive of IpsoFacto Investor, explains how he helped put together the IC Top 100 Funds. He also says how he homes ...
Couples who are wedded to debt  Independent OnlineCouples who are married in community of property should understand their joint financial situation and know exactly how much debt both partners have taken on ...
New income tax rules come into effect from September 1. Latest changes explained  LivemintSome income tax changes announced in this year's Budget comes from September 1, 2019. The full Budget for this year was presented in July this year.
To Be A Good Investor, Respect Market Cycles  BloombergQuintWe must respect the long-term realities and the turning points as against measuring a product based on what it looks like today. when an asset class is doing ...
Don't reveal PAN on social media, Income Tax department warns  LivemintThe Income Tax department has asked all PAN card holders to not share their Permanent Account Number on social media.The I-T department has an online ...
Effective financial advice doesn’t have to sound good or be complicated  Moneycontrol.comTheoretical advice doesn't take into account how people actually operate and decide when it comes to money matters.
Missed filing ITR? Don`t worry, here are the options  Zee NewsNew Delhi: The last day for filing of income tax returns (ITR) for financial year 2018-19 was August 31, hence those individuals who missed the deadline must be ...
Catching FIRE: The Financial Independence Retire Early movement  Independent OnlineAgainst concerns about whether the average income earner will be able to afford to retire at all, a growing group of people ...
BEWARE SBI account holders! Do not make these mistakes at bank ATMs and online, you will lose your money  Zee BusinessSBI alerts! It has warned them that they should not commit such mistakes, which may cause their bank account to be emptied. SBI has issued the alert to its bank ...
Personal Finance: Cutting through the ETF confusion  Chattanooga Times Free PressExchange traded funds have grown substantially in popularity over the past 10 years.
Grande Dame of Personal Finance Advice Honoured  Scoop.co.nzMarie Quinn, who runs her own boutique personal advisory *service* from her Parnell office, has been honoured by her peers in Financial Advice New Zealand ...
Australia's first personal finance app where you can earn money  Mirage NewsAustralia's first personal finance app where you can earn money. Australia's newest personal finance app, Humaniti, gives members a free dashboard that...
Personal Finance: Don't quit your plan just yet  Sunday Business PostTwo new reports advocate stopping expenditure on private healthcare. But it may be a bumpy road before we get to a quality state system.
Aadhaar holders to automatically receive PAN from I-T Dept  Zee NewsCBDT said that I-T department will obtain demographic information of an individual from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for allotment of PAN.
You’ve Got Mail! From The Tax Department... What Next?  BloombergQuintOn receiving a letter or email from the Income Tax Department, a common first reaction is to panic, and assume that something has gone wrong. However ...
Tax task force recommends new tax slabs for individuals  Economic TimesNEW DELHI: A government constituted Direct Tax Code task force, headed by CBDT member Akilesh Ranjan, is arguing for a new tax regime for individuals.
FSCA fines 4 Africa Exchange R30 000  Independent OnlineThe FSCA has imposed an administrative penalty of R30 000 on 4 Africa Exchange, for contravening section 90 of the Financial Markets Act.
What you need for early retirement  Business DailyKenya has a long way to realise a sustainable income replacement ratio for retirees.
Kiplinger's Personal Finance: Now is a good time to refinance your mortgage  Richmond.comMortgage rates have dropped to levels not seen since 2016, and homeowners are rushing to refinance.
This debit card teaches kids how to manage money  Fox BusinessGreenlight hopes to give kids a way to learn financial responsibility with parental supervision.

Vacations Made Easy: Buying a Florida Investment Property

Vacations Made Easy: Buying a Florida Investment PropertyA relaxing beach... Read More

Is There A Retirement Crisis?

When people speak about the increasing age expectancies, they generally... Read More

Know Thy Finances

The first step to financial success lies in knowing your... Read More

Save Money on Groceries: Part I

One universal of humanity, no matter who you are or... Read More

Bankruptcy Chapters Explained

Chapter 7The potential chapter 7 debtor should understand that a... Read More

How to Save Money in a Grocery Store

Now there are ways to save money in the grocery... Read More

A Quck Lesson in Saving Money

Did you have a piggy bank when you were a... Read More

The Magic Of Compound Interest

Christians are called to be good stewards of God's resources.... Read More

Personal Finance - Have Consumers Had a Belly Full of Personal Debt?

For months, we were trigger-swipe happy, putting our groceries, clothes,... Read More

Budgeting is Essential for a Single Mothers Success

Today many women are struggling with debt and it's even... Read More

Bank On It: Places to Hide and Invest Money

Today I passed a thermometer at a bank that read... Read More

Creating A Household Budget

Creating a budget can be a very difficult task. Although... Read More

Introduction to Australian Superannuation

Australians, in general, constitute some of the worst savers in... Read More

10 Steps to Take if You Are a Victim of Identity Theft

There have been an estimated 9.9 million victims on America... Read More

Why We Are Never Satisfied with What We Have

I have to admit, I do it too. I complain.... Read More

The World is Not Enough - Calling for a More Ethical Approach to Personal Finance

At a time when the entire world's attention is focused... Read More

Budgeting -- The Critical Flaw That Causes Most Budgets to Fail

Budgeting. It's a word we're all familiar with. Everyone knows... Read More

Planning Ahead with Your Finances

If you, like most people, have not seriously considered what... Read More

Financial Fitness - Are You Exercising the Right Muscles to become Financially Fit?

Are your financial muscles well toned and healthy or flabby... Read More

Improving Your Financial Position

If you want money you need to learn how to... Read More

One Income Source Is Not Enough!

My personal opinion is that in today's new economy, it... Read More

Do You Really Need the Power of Money Management Software?

I have been a loyal user of Quicken(R) for more... Read More

What Happens if You Die Without Making a Will

If you die without making a Will in the UK,... Read More

Are You Sick of the Financial Insecurity of Fluctuating Seasons and Income?

Finding a stable and secure income that will come year... Read More

Top 10+ Ways to Jumpstart your New Year?s Finances!

Of course, these don't have to be done in any... Read More