by Bo, February 06, 2013
Recently we found a post on financial guru, Dave Ramsey’s blog about tips for balancing a checking account and we thought the information was so good that we’d share it with our readers. We, of course, have a few tips to add ourselves, making a grand total of 7 tips for balancing your checking account. So if you are looking for hints on how to get your checking account properly budgeted or just looking to ensure you are on the right track with your accounts, check out the following tips.
1. Keep Track
The first tip that Dave Ramsey mentions is to keep track of your finances. This may seem like a no brainer, but it really is the first step to a proper checking account budgeting and balancing system. We tend to spend more money than we think we do, which is why it is important to track each expenditure individually. By doing this, you can see how much you spend as well as manage how much is in your account. This also helps prevent overdraft fees and bounced checks. We suggest tracking your spending with your personalized checkbook and check registers from us.
2. Compare Your Tracking with the Bank
Ramsey suggests the next step is to compare your spending with that shown in your bank statements. In fact he suggests to, “Make a checkmark in your register for every transaction included on your statement. Be sure all entries on the statement are written in your register, including any bank fees or service charges.” This prevents surprise charges and if there is a discrepancy, you can find out about and take care of it almost immediately.
3. Receipts from an ATM Are NOT Good Sources to base Your Transactions and Budget
Ramsey also states in his blog post that ATM receipts are not good indicators of your actual checking account amount and we agree. ATM receipts reflect what is in your checking account as of that minute but do not reflect on upcoming withdrawals, fees or checks coming in or out of the account. However, by following steps one and two, you should know what is coming in and out due to your extensive tracking in your register.
4. Take Advantage of Online Banking
Many users can access their personal and business banking accounts via online banking websites now and by taking advantage of this easy to see platform, you can have up-to-date views of what is happening with your account. Online banking is simple to view as well as a great way to manage your accounts on a daily basis.
5. Keep a Minimum Balance
Even though you will know exactly where your money is coming from as well as going to, it is always wise to maintain a minimum balance within your checking account. This is effective to keep from ever having a problem of overdraft charges or fees, even though you really shouldn’t because of your extensive balancing with the first four tips. However, a safety net is always nice in case you slip up and forget to record a transaction. It is also nice to have a buffer in your account in case of emergencies or unexpected spending.
6. Take Advantage of Direct Deposit
Much like online banking, using direct deposit is an excellent and easy way to manage your finances. Directly send your money into your account without rushing to the bank to deposit your paycheck before the bank closes. Just remember to account of the deposit in your register. This saves you time and hassle and you can see your paycheck has gone through to your account while you check our online statements.
7. Don’t Forget It Doesn’t Happen Overnight
Balancing a checking account is simple enough but we all have slip-ups where we’ve forgotten to record a transaction in our register, or have had an unexpected payment come up. So while you are working hard to balance your account don’t forget that sometimes, it doesn’t happen overnight that you suddenly are a pro at balancing your account. But with hard work and creating good habits with these 7 tips, you can become an expert checking account balancer and have less financial stress within your life.
Check back weekly for more financial tips from Checks SuperStore.