Do You Really Need to Balance Your Checkbook?

Daniel Penzing
Written by
Last update:

Reconciling Your Checking Account Helps You Discover Mistakes and Rectify Them Quickly.

¶Almost every person who does online banking now has a check register of some sort. If you are like most people, you write down checks into this register as soon as you write them. You also record deposits and other activities into this register. Why do you do this?

The reason for these registers is because you have to find out what your correct balance is on all the times you work on your checking account. You have to find out how much you owe. Registers are a great way to do this.

This is important even if your bank does a great job of keeping you updated on your account. Even if you have a very simple checking account, you need to reconcile everything you did over the last month.

This is a vital process. Reconciling your checkbook helps you discover your mistakes much quicker. Otherwise, you will wait a very long time to find out that you have a major error in your checking account.

If you want to be very careful about your checking account, and want to analyze other aspects of your finances, you can follow the process below.

Every month, write down the date on a separate sheet of paper. Write down your starting balance on one side and the ending balance on the other side. You can also include the date that you are going to use the balance.

Reconciling Your Checking Account Helps You Manage Your Money — And Saves You Money.

As a kid, I watched my mom balance her checkbook regularly. I remember her doing it once a week, and I remember watching her do it. In addition, I remember what she did when errors were discovered.

She would call the bank with questions or corrections. She would berate herself when errors were discovered. I remember watching her react with exasperation, anger, and dread. She balanced her checkbook because the bank required it. She balanced her checkbook because the people on TV balanced their checkbooks. She balanced her checkbook because it was expected of her.

Bankers know that it’s a great way to keep their customers on a short financial leash. They know that checkbook balancing is a task that most people dread to do. They know that it reduces the chances that you’ll question your own deposits and withdrawals. They know that it ensures that you’re more likely to turn to them when you have questions.

If you manage your money responsibly, you should balance your checkbook. Here’s why.

How to Balance Your Checking Account

Balance your checkbook is a task no one cares to do. Most people don’t know how to do it; as a result, they never do it. You can get by for months without balancing your checkbook and still do just fine – but that is probably not doing you any favors. Every so often, you should balance your checkbook to make sure your accounts are balanced. It’s a simple three-step process that will only take you a few minutes. As long as you know where to find your bank statements, balance your checkbook.