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Stupid question, but I have to settle something:) Can anybody explain to me as to how to balance a checkbook properly?

A friend and I have different definitions of balancing a check book. I thought there was only one way, apparently not??


Asked by Anonymous at 12:26 AM on Oct. 23, 2009 in Just for Fun

This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • okay everyone has their own way of doing it, there is the once a month way when you get your statement normally on the back of your statement there is a worksheet and instructions. here is a link its alot easier then typing it all :) I googled "how to balance a checkbook " and found multiple sites so there may be other ways listed but this one is the most commonly used. My checkbook would never balance because i round up all my outgoing amounts to the nearest dollar so we have emergency money at the end of the month and it keeps me from over drafting :) I also round all deposits down to the nearest 10th so say I deposit $363 I enter the deposit in my checkbook as $360, at the end of the month I have had over $100 extra it is really nice when things get tight. So I keep two check registers on my computer one with my actual amounts and one with the rounded amounts.


    Answer by 3_ring_circus_ at 12:38 AM on Oct. 23, 2009

  • I only know of one way. The register starts with the existing balance. You subtract all checks and fees, and add all deposits.

    How else would you do it?

    Answer by gdiamante at 12:30 AM on Oct. 23, 2009

  • To check your balance you inquire what checks and ATM/Debt purchases have cleared. The ones that have not cleared is what you subtract from the balance as well as any bank charges or fees from other banks ATM'S.

    Answer by pnwmom at 12:33 AM on Oct. 23, 2009

  • What the first poster says sounds right to me. Thats the only way I know how.

    Answer by lstrickland at 12:34 AM on Oct. 23, 2009

  • I do round up my purchases to the nearest dollar as 3 ring circus says, that way I have a little bit extra that is actually in my account.

    Answer by pnwmom at 12:44 AM on Oct. 23, 2009

  • My friend told me i'm not balancing my checkbook properly because I don't do the once a month statement thing that 3 ring circus is talking about. I balance my checkbook just about every night with a pen, calculator and my checkbook. I dont' think her way is wrong, but she says my way is??

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:44 AM on Oct. 23, 2009

  • I dont do it monthly anymore either because I do it daily. I used to do it monthly but honestly it drove me bonkers trying to look at all those numbers (and I did A/R before being a SAHM lol) I found for me daily was easier especially being on such a tight budget. If your way works for you then keep doing it. The only difference is your doing it in smaller increments. your still balancing it the same way just not with as many numbers to deal with.

    Doing it monthly is probably a good idea but like i said not everyone has the desire to do it :)

    Answer by 3_ring_circus_ at 12:49 AM on Oct. 23, 2009

  • Ah, I see what she means! The statement is a cross-check, in case you've forgotten something. Also in case your account gets hacked.

    I used to do it monthly, just as she describes. But with online banking, it can be done daily or multiple times a day. are

    Answer by gdiamante at 1:26 AM on Oct. 23, 2009

  • Balancing a chequebook is just making it so your register matches the bank: what you think happened is the same thing that happened, or someone's made an error.

    That's the other purpose (apart from knowing how much money you have spent, when things take a while to clear, or autopayments are going to be taken out later and the money needs to be earmarked for that so you don't spend it twice): confirming that things that went through your account are accurate, in case the bank cashes a cheque for more than it was written for, or transactions that you didn't make (double debits, etc.)

    Answer by LindaClement at 2:54 AM on Oct. 23, 2009

  • OP ~ I think your frequent balancing is more up-to-date than the monthly balancing. Both of you are correct, that is why banks offer online banking now so you can view your account as often as you want to see what transactions have occurred right away.
    It helps with me to do it frequently because my husband makes purchases without telling me or giving me the receipt so I have to deduct it in order to know what the proper balance is.
    Neither of you are wrong.

    Answer by PrydferthMenyw at 5:38 AM on Oct. 23, 2009