Sep 29 2009

Do you balance your checkbook?

I don’t.

I did back when I got my first checking account in high school. I didn’t have a debit card, and I didn’t have online banking. Balancing my checkbook was the only way I could track my spending.

These days, I rarely write checks. My bills are paid online or through online bill pay.

If I need to write a check to send a person money, I log the amount in a spreadsheet where I keep track of the payment status of my bills. Once it clears online, I mark it out.

I check my bank account’s activity online just about every day so I can monitor our spending and take note of anything weird.

Manually balancing my checkbook would take up too much time and serve no real purpose for me.

However, I do see why balancing a checkbook can still have value for some people.

For instance, if you don’t bank online, you can keep track of your money. If you want to pay extra-close attention to where your money is going, logging your expenditures and subtracting the amount from your overall balance can certainly help.

And, some people use their checkbook ledger to deduct purchases made on their credit cards. That way, they make certain that they’re able to pay the credit card bill in full each month.

What about you? Do you balance your checkbook?



10 Responses to “Do you balance your checkbook?”

  1. The last check I wrote was for the asian delivery place, but I still write EVERYTHING that I spend in my checkbook so that what I have will balance with what the bank has, I have occasionally found errors, on their end and my own. I also check the bank every day as well to mark off what has gone through and see what has yet to go through.
    That is the way I budget most days.
    .-= Frugalforlife´s last blog ..A Frugal Look Back at September =-.

  2. I don’t but my SIL has. She and her husband keep separate accounts because he doesn’t like to balance his and she has since she was like 16 (she’s now 30!). He just transfers the money she’ll need for household stuff and personal things and she keeps track of it. She’s a stay at home mom so she doesn’t have a paycheck anymore. Works well for them!
    .-= Stacy´s last blog ..Fun pictures and a bit of an update =-.

  3. I do my banking online like you do and since I use Mint and Quicken Online and an Excel spreadsheet I do not balance my checkbook either. I used to balance after every transaction before I started using ING for checking but now the only checks I write are to church.

    I transfer the money I am going to spend in church once a month and then at the beginning of the month I write out four checks for Sundays. I don’t need to balance a checkbook because I already know only those four checks are coming out of my brick and mortar bank…and everything else is at ING.
    .-= Lulu´s last blog ..How Much Do You Make? (Getting To Know Readers) =-.

  4. I totally don’t balance my checkbook, but I try to log onto my bank website every few weeks to check out the transactions and make sure I don’t see anything fishy.
    .-= Tiffany´s last blog ..Baby Einstein Animal Discovery Cards =-.

  5. I kind of do. What I do is compare what I have in my checkbook with what shows up online. I’m paranoid I’ll forget something and then spend too much. Plus, sometimes places like gas stations or restaurants take so long to post things that I think I have more money than I really do.

    What I do is take what the bank says I have, subtract what’s outstanding, and make sure it balances with what the checkbook says. It’s pretty easy. :) I don’t reconcile to the statement though.
    .-= Mrs. Money´s last blog ..Getting Made Fun of for Frugality =-.

  6. I don’t balance my checkbook, but I do something similar with cash purchases. I have to go through Mint and categorize my cash spending according to receipts so my budget reflects my spending correctly. It reminds me a lot of balancing my check book, and I find that taking the time to look at what I’m spending really helps keep my accountable!
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..Should you keep a cushion in your checking account? =-.

  7. I usually balance the checkbook every month. Hubby’s ATM receipts seem to dissolve somewhere between the bank and our house, so the statement catches me up on his cash action once a month. I haven’t balanced the book since falling victim to morning sickness, though. It usually only takes me 10 minutes or so, but multiply that by 3 months and it’s become a “project” to be procrastinated!

  8. While what you do may not be technically balancing your checkbook it is pretty close. It just isn’t the old fashioned way. I use a spreadsheet to track all of my purchases and my bills and I check my bank account online every day.

  9. I guess I’m one of the weird ones. I write only a few checks each month and everything else is electronic. I have to know my bank balance to the penny though. I’ve always been like that since I got my first checking account. I’ve tried several times before to stop balancing the account since I check my account online each day but I just can’t bring myself to not know exactly how much cash I have.

    Whenever I make a purchase during the day, I make sure to record the transaction in my check register that night (or soon after). Once the item clears, I destroy the receipt (unless I need it for tax purposes or something I may need to return).
    .-= SingleGuyMoney´s last blog ..Debts Missing From Your Credit Report? Don’t Count It Out Just Yet. =-.

  10. Of course before the internet I had to balance my checkbook but I wasn’t very conscientious about it, unfortunetely. That’s how you get in trouble. Then I went to work at a bank and I could check it online everyday. After the bank I still didn’t have internet banking so I was worse off because now I was out of the balancing habit. Now I use internet banking. The only checkbook I have to balance is my husbands because he refuses to do it online!
    .-= Steph´s last blog ..Hot Printables and Ziploc Samples =-.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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