How to Balance Your Checkbook Activity: Here are 4 Good Options!
If you have an existing checking account and have not been balancing it each month, then you have three options in order to get your account balanced.
- Stop trying to figure out your checking account balance and simply open a new account. This is perhaps the easiest way to start fresh. You will be able to start over with an initial balance of zero, and will not have to find previous bank statements to begin balancing your account. If you have had your account for a while and getting a new account is easily done, then I would recommend this approach.
- Start at the beginning and figure your checking account balance for each month. If you have a relatively new account – say less than six months old – and you have access to your previous bank statements, then this is an option. You would merely go back to your initial bank statement and work forward. Again, I would be careful going back too many months regardless of whether or not you have your statements because, while it can be done, it will be a tedious task to complete.
- Let your account settle before determining your checking account balance. This is another option if you cannot easily open a new account or can’t find all of your old account statements. This method involves suspending the use of your account for a week or so until all of the pending checks, deposits and other transactions clear your account. You would stop using your account prior to the end of the month, so that when your new bank statement comes, the balance on the statement becomes your new starting point. This is not a perfect solution, but it can be a way to start fresh going forward. Of course, if you suspend using your account for a couple of weeks and get a new balance, there still is a chance that old transactions or checks from previous months may clear and, if that is the case, you will have to include them with your new transactions to balance. Note: This can take up to a couple of weeks, so it may not be a viable option for you.
- Use an app. You can try using a Checkbook App on your Smartphone to keep track of your spendings, such as Checkbook by Digital Life Solutions or ClearCheckbook by SiliconTrance.
When balancing a checkbook that has not been balanced in a while (if ever!), what is the best choice?
Opening a new account is by far the easiest way to get a fresh start if you do not have a lot of experience in working with checkbooks.
However, the key is to get to a starting balance that you know is correct, and then start to track and balance your transactions every month.
Getting started again is the hard part, but once you get your account balanced it is easy to maintain.
Need more information about how to maintain your balance? Here is a detailed article on balancing a checkbook to help you get a handle on this cash flow management challenge. Best of luck!
Have any more questions about cash flow management?
I encourage you to review the article above, and hope that you will find it helpful. Along the way, if you have any suggestions on how I can help shed more light on the complicated topic of cash flow management, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want to help you!
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