Balancing Your Account

Balancing your account will help you make sure there is enough money in your account to cover all of your checks and withdrawals. You might find mistakes that were made by both you and the bank. Use the following steps to verify your records are correct:

  • Go through bank statement and put a checkmark next to all transactions that are recorded in your checkbook register.
  • Make note of the transactions that are correct on your bank statement, but do not yet appear in your checkbook register. Enter these transactions to your checkbook register. Add or subtract the transactions as indicated on the bank statement from the account balance in the register.
  • Find your ending account balance on your bank statement and write it on a sheet of paper.
  • Find any deposits that you made after the bank statement was generated. Add them to your account balance to on the piece of paper. Make a note of the new balance.
  • Find any checks that have not cleared your account (ones that are listed in your register but weren't showing on your statement). Subtract them from the new balance on the piece of paper. The resulting figure is your ending balance.
  • The ending balance on the piece of paper should be equal to the balance you recorded in your checkbook register. If they are not equal, your checkbook is out of balance.

If your checkbook balance is high:

  • Make sure entered all ATM and other electronic transactions in your register.
  • Make sure all checks are recorded. Each check is numbered. Look again at the bank statement. Go through the checks in order to find them all.
  • Make sure you record any bank service charges in your checkbook register.

If your checkbook balance is low:

  • Make sure you recorded all of your deposits.
  • Do all of the transaction amounts written in your register match the amounts on the bank statement? Contact the bank if you think they made an error. Correct your register if you made an error.

If you made a mistake balancing your account last month, it will be carried over to this month. If you can't figure out why your register doesn't match the bank, it's safer to go with the bank's balance after you've made adjustments for items not included on the statement. That way, you can avoid overdrawing your account.

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