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    Article courtesy of GreenPath(TM), a partner of ECU, offering ECU members access to free and confidential financial wellness counselors and resources. 

    LEARN MORE ABOUT GREENPATH

    Knowing how to successfully balance your checkbook is an important component of sound personal money management.  Balancing your checkbook gives you more control over your day-to-day finances and can help you reduce or eliminate overdraft fees and non-sufficient fund (NSF) fees.

    Organization plays a key role in successful checkbook management.  The same organizational tools used to manage your checkbook can be applied to other areas of your personal finance matters including budgeting, debt management, savings, investments, and retirement planning.

    Before You Get Started

    Before you get started to balance your account, gather together the following items:

    1. Your checkbook register or duplicate checks
    2. Your current account statement
    3. All deposit, withdrawal, or check card purchase receipts (including ATM transactions) you’ve collected during the statement period

    Balancing

    Each month when you receive your checking account statement, follow the steps outlined below to ensure your checkbook balances.

    Worksheet

    Step 1 – Check-Off Items

    Obtain your checkbook register and check off the following items listed on your checking account statement:

    1. Personal checks
    2. ATM withdrawals
    3. Check card purchases
    4. Automatic payments and transfers
    5. Deposits

    If any of the above items 1 through 5 are on your checking account statement, but not in your checkbook register, verify that they are your items.  If they are, then record them in your checkbook register, and adjust your register balance.

    Step 2 – Log Unrecorded Items

    Enter each Organization charge/fee charged against your checking account and/or interest added to your checking account into your register and adjust your register balance.

    Step 3 – Total Outstanding Deposits

    List and total all deposits in your checkbook register that have not been listed on your checking account statement.  The total will be used in Step 5.

    Date

    Amount

    1.

     

     

    2.

     

     

    3.

     

     

    4.

     

     

    5.

     

     

    Total

     

     

     

    Step 4 – Total Checks Outstanding

    List and total all draft and other payments in your checkbook register that have not been listed on your checking account statement.  The total will be used in Step 5.

     

    Number

    Amount

    1.

     

     

    2.

     

     

    3.

     

     

    4.

     

     

    5.

     

     

    6.

     

     

    7.

     

     

    8.

     

     

    9.

     

     

    10.

     

     

    11.

     

     

    12.

     

     

    13.

     

     

    14.

     

     

    15.

     

     

    Total

     

     

    23

    Step 5 – Balance Account

    Complete the following table:

    Instruction

    Amount

    ENTER your ending balance from your checking account statement

    $

     

    ENTER and ADD the total outstanding deposits from Step 3

     

     

    TOTAL

     

     

    ENTER and SUBTRACT the total checks outstanding from Step 4

     

     

    TOTAL should equal the balance in your checkbook register

     

     

    If the balance in your checkbook register does not equal the result above, go to Step 6.

    Step 6

    Recheck Steps 1 through 5.  Compare the amount entered on your checking account statement to the amounts you entered in your checkbook register.  Check for addition and subtraction errors in your checkbook register.

    Trouble Shooting Techniques

    If the adjusted balance on your checking account statement does not equal the ending balance in your checkbook register, then your checking account is not in balance.  This means an error was made somewhere.  If this occurs, check the following:
     

    1. Are ATM transactions, checks, automatic payments/deposits, check card purchases, service charges, interest, etc.H HH accounted for?
    2. Did you double check your addition and subtraction, both on the worksheet above and in your checkbook register?
    3. Did you compare the dollar amounts shown on your checking account statement with the dollar amounts recorded in your checkbook register?
    4. Did you compare deposits shown on your checking account statement with deposits recorded in your checkbook register and on your deposit receipts?

     

    Need to find out more?  As a member of ECU, you can take advantage of the GreenPath Financial Wellness program, a free financial education and counseling program.  GreenPath counselors are available Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (EST), Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. To use this service, simply call 1-877-337-3399 or visit them on the web at www.greenpath.com.

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