Why You Should Still Balance Your Checking Accounts

Balancing checks is an unappealing task. You don’t need to be a mathematical genius or accounting expert to balance your checkbook on a regular basis. There are several benefits to carefully managing the money, the greatest of which may be avoiding unfortunate surprises. The last thing people ever want is a check bouncing, or having to pay significant fees on an unexpected overdraft. Balancing your checkbook gives you the opportunity to obtain real insight on your spending, without having to depend on your bank’s accounting.

Understanding How To Balance Your Checkbook

Checkbook balancing is a skill most adults will be able to develop with practice. There are a few steps involved:

  • Marking down all your completed transactions in the register booklet you have received with your checkbook (deposits as well as withdrawals)
  • Reviewing your monthly bank statement to ascertain your available balance
  • Making a sum of your spending
  • Making sure that your balance matches your calculations

If you notice any discrepancy between your calculations and the bank statement, you will need to report it. While it is very uncommon for banks to still make calculation errors (now that highly efficient software systems are used), they can occur. It will be your responsibility to report any discrepancies within 60 days. If you have no error to report, you can then file away your bank statement.

How You Will Benefit

Balancing your checkbook allows you peace of mind. It lets you stay ahead of your spending, and encourages you to practice discipline in your money management. Being able to notice when funds have gone missing from your account is also protecting you against cybercrime. By balancing your checkbook, you can also find out whether you have been a victim of fraudulent activity. The quicker you notice, the faster your bank can take action and trace the funds.

Balancing your checkbook is also a way to prevent the mishap of a bounced check. When uncertain of your checking account balance, it can be easy to write checks for larger sums than what you have available. This can cause harm to your reputation, lead to financial penalties, and accumulate overdrafts. Balancing your checkbook will allow you to spot such a problem in advance, and find another payment solution, or release funds from another account into your checking account.

Balancing your checkbook is a responsible money management practice that all adults must incorporate into their routines. Being aware of the state of your finances at all times can prevent bounced checks and overdrafts, which can be costly in the long run. For more information on how to balance your checkbook, contact your financial advisor at Heritage Bank today.