Tips For Balance Your Checkbook

Balance your checkbook; with a little consistency it doesn't have to be such a bad thing.

Growing up and living on your own entails a lot of new responsibility. Nobody wants to do their own laundry, pick up after themselves, or, for that matter do the most dreaded of all chores: manage their finances. Money's great, sure. You earn money so that you can spend it in the future. Unfortunately one of the responsibilities this entails is that you keep track of your expenditures to determine how much money you have left to spend. After all, bouncing checks is a whole lot worse than spending quality time with your checkbook and calculator.

Balancing your finances can be quite easy if a few steps are taken to expedite the process. Every time you make money and deposit it in your checking account, write it down in your checkbook (or ledger). Why use a ledger? They are bigger and its easier to keep everything organized. On the other hand, they aren't as portable, so if you aren't big into getting receipts for all your expenditures and instead prefer to write it down on the spot then you should use your checkbook.

The same goes for expenditures""always write everything down. If you forget even one little item it can cause hours of hassle later on trying to reconstruct your account/expenditures. It's advisable always to keep receipts (this is handy as well in case you ever need to return anything) and store them in a box or drawer. Searching through them for an item you forgot to write down won't be easy, but at least you have them in the event that you need them (better to have a hard time reconstructing everything than not to be able to at all). Once you assign a particular place (i.e. box) to put your receipts, always put them there first thing. Don't set them down and walk off because important things always have a tendency to get lost easily unless they are placed where they belong.



At the end of each month, add all your deposits together and write that number down. Then add up all your expenditures. Subtract the latter from the former and add that to your beginning balance or to last month's balance. You now know exactly what you have in your bank account. In addition, you may wish to do a line-to-line balance as this can save lots of time in the event something doesn't balance or you make a mistake in your calculations. For instance, if you have $10 as your beginning balance and you made two deductions from your account this month, both in the amount of $1, your balance at the end of the month (now) is $8. To be sure that you don't make a mistake, you may wish to calculate $10 minus $1 and write down the total balance in your account after this deduction ($9) then proceed to subtract the next $1, and so on. In months where you spend and make a lot this can save a lot of confusion. Check your statement to confirm these numbers and, if there are no discrepancies, you're done""until next month.

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