Money management can seem like a daunting task. You may think checking account management is time-consuming, ineffective, and requires organizational skills you may not possess. The truth is that checking account management really comes down to practicality. Investing a few hours every month, you can create a more cohesive picture for yourself about what you’re spending and where, in addition to cultivating financial health. Let’s take a look at four simple tips for managing your checking account.
1. Gather Your Statements and Receipts in One Place
The first step will help you start the organizational process off on the right foot. Gather your deposit and withdrawal slips, ATM and Debit Card receipts, you transaction register, and your monthly statement. Devise a place where you store and categorize all of these records, whether it’s a physical accordion binder or a digital folder. If you prefer the easy access of digital organization, use your printer’s scanner feature and a program like Quickbooks to punch the information in. Alternatively, programs like Evernote offer a feature to take photos of your receipts and records and upload them to a digital folder directly from your phone.
2. Stay Up-To-Date On Your Account Information
With the advent of Online Banking, whether through websites or apps, it’s now easier than ever to ensure you are aware of your balances and digital spending record. This is also a great way to keep up on any monthly banking fees you may incur, including maintenance and overdraft charges. Online Banking is an efficient method of keeping an eye on your balances and your spending.
3. Build a Spreadsheet to Stay Organized
Unless you prefer doing math by hand, spreadsheets are an invaluable tool in balancing your checking account. Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets are two popular choices–doing the math for you as you log the information. The only downside to this is the learning curve of understanding these applications, if you’re unfamiliar with them. If you want to make one yourself, check out Your Credit Union’s guide here!
4. Compare Your Records With Your Bank’s or Credit Union’s
Once you have all of the information compiled, it’s time to compare your personal records with your banking institution’s records. This will help you determine if you have any outstanding balances due, whether you were improperly charged by any vendors, and help you manage all of those pesky online subscriptions. Additionally, it will assist you in better understanding your own spending habits, and allow you to clearly devise a sound money plan.
As we’ve seen in this blog, with a little bit of organization and a bit of time well spent, you can be on the road to better financial health. Balancing your checking account doesn’t have to be a daunting task. If you want more assistance with how to balance your checking accounts and general budgeting advice… some budget worksheets are here!