Bank Balancing Tips

Managing your bank accounts, whether savings or checking, by reconciling them to your bank’s records is a responsibility — and one of the best money management habits you can keep. Mapping Your Future can help you manage your accounts properly.

Keep Records

Even if you have online banking access, you should keep your own records of account activity. You don’t have to use a traditional bank register (also known as a checkbook or bank book), but you should keep track of all additions to the accounts (direct deposit of wages, check deposit, interest earned, etc.) and withdrawals from the accounts (purchases on a debit card (note cash back, if applicable), automatic bill payment, ATM withdrawals, transfers, etc.).

Reconcile Records

You should balance, or reconcile, your records for all of your bank accounts at least once each month when your bank statement is available. This is one of the best money management habits.

Benefits of balancing your records:

  • Helps you keep track of your money
  • Verifies the information you have is accurate
  • Helps you identify any mistakes you or your bank made

Balance Your Accounts

To balance your accounts, follow these simple steps:

  1. Ensure you’ve entered all automatic transactions (e.g., ATM withdrawals, electronic transfer of funds, online bill payments, and debit card transactions) into your records.
  2. Review your statement.
  3. Compare your statement with your records and mark all items that match.
  4. Add to your records any missing deposits or additions from your statement, including interest payments and ATM or electronic deposits.
  5. Subtract from your records any missing deductions, including fees and ATM or electronic deductions.
  6. Update your statement information.

Balances don’t match? Try these tricks:

  • Ensure you didn’t transpose any numbers.
  • Make sure you didn’t enter an amount more than once.
  • Take a break. When you come back, you’ll be refreshed and might see your error more quickly.
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