How to balance your checkbook

In this post, I will share with you how to balance a checkbook. Chances are now with the popularity of the online banking one rarely needs to balance their checkbook. You can get real-time information on your accounts from your bank, without needing to have yourself play with financial numbers. If you are curious (or don’t have access to online-banking) how the banks determine your account balance at a specific period in time, see the post below. Whether you need balancing of your checkbook a school assignment or you really need your checkbook balanced, I hope you will find this post interesting and straightforward as are others here.

Balancing a checkbook
Balancing a checkbook

Keeping track of your transactions with your checkbook register, one entry at a time:

  • Write your check number in the check number column (example: 150)
  • Write the date of the check (example: 10/11/2006)
  • Write a brief description of the check (example: Mortgage payment)
  • Write the payment amount (example: $1580)
  • Don’t forget to compute the balance after each entry!

A quick tip

Remember to reconcile your checkbook register with the bank statement! This is the sure way to know if there is any error or fraudulent activity on your check account. If you have an online banking account, your job is probably made easy but remember to review each entry for accuracy. If you don’t have the benefit of online account reporting, you have to manually check the bank’s calculations. Use the bank’s statement instructions for reconciling your checkbook with the statement.

To utilize your checkbook to the fullest, I hope you have recorded all (primarily recent) financial transactions (such as deposits, withdrawals, and any ATM service fees). You need your checkbook (and transaction receipts not yet recorded to the checkbook) and the last bank statement to balance your checkbook.

To determine how much you have in your bank account, use the following steps:

  1. Find your closing balance on your bank statement. In other words, how much money did you have in your bank on your last bank statement? This is your money that is available to you for you to spend.
  2. Add to this figure any deposits to your account made after the closing date of the statement
  3. Subtract from this new figure any check or debt purchases after the closing date of the statement.
  4. Subtract any bank fees or ATM charges from step 3 amount

The resulting amount is how much you have available in your bank account. I hope it is a positive number. Using the steps descried here you can find the balance in your account at anytime, you don’t have to check your online account or wait for a statement. Remember to notify your bank if you determine your balance does not match with your bank statement. Check/recheck your calculations for accuracy first before contacting the bank.

A bank instructions for balancing checkbook register
Back of a bank statement shows you how to balance and update your checkbook register
Posted on 10/31/2006
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by Raj Singh