While home budgeting and financial strategy used to be taught in most public schools, today many adults have no idea what to do when it comes to checking account management. However, the good news is that there is a lot of information available online, as well as many finance-based apps that can be used to help you achieve your goals. One of the best ways to stay on top of your money is to join St Anne Credit Union in New Bedford and take advantage of all the tools available to our members. Online checking, options for low-interest credit unions loans, and of course our popular New Bedford checking account and savings, can all be used to help you manage your finances and balance your checkbook.
Matching Your Statement to Your Checkbook
One way to balance your checkbook is to take your monthly statement and compare it to the records that you keep every time you take out money, pay a bill, buy groceries, or write a check. This may seem like an “old-fashioned” approach, but it is a tried and true method that many people still use today. Getting the timing down is what will help this method be the most successful. Your statement will clearly state all of the transactions that have been posted to or have cleared your account as of the closing date. You can see the closing date on the first page of your statement.
While there will be a gap between the closing date, printing date, and the date that you receive your paper statement or e-notification of online banking statement being available, you can reconcile your checkbook to that specific date. You will likely still be making withdrawals and transactions after the closing date, but you can always check to make sure that everything cleared and that your records match the statement up to that date. Remember that it typically takes a couple of days for some checks, credit payments, and deposits to clear the account.
Record Every Transaction
Throughout the month, simply record each transaction into your checkbook register that you received when you join St Anne Credit Union. This means utility bills, trips to the grocery store, online purchases, and payments for credit union loans. This is the primary focus of checking account management, building good habits that will help you keep track of your finances to avoid over-spending, which can result in returned checks or negative balances. Try to record each transaction at the time that you make it, which can mean keeping your register with you in your checkbook or saving receipts to log immediately when you return home. This will prevent any transactions from being forgotten or overlooked when you reconcile your account.
To start working on checking account management for your New Bedford checking account, start by gathering some tools that will help you to achieve your goals. Your last two statements can be helpful. If you are doing paperless accounting, go online to download your statements or view them in your “saved” folder via email. You will also need your checkbook and checking account register, as well as any receipts that you didn’t record in your checkbook yet that should be counted. A calculator and a pen or pencil are also required. However, that being said, you can also use an online financial app, such as QuickBooks or Mint.
The primary figures you need to be concerned with include:
- your last checkbook register balance
- total transactions made
- service charges and interest from the statement
- checkbook balance
Then compare the totals to the statement to see if everything matches up. If it does not, you may need to match up all of the transactions in the monthly statement to see if everything is accurate or determine if you forgot to include a deposit or debit in your records. When you join St Anne Credit Union, you gain more than just a New Bedford checking account and savings. You also gain access to a team of representatives that can answer any questions that you have about credit union loans, savings opportunities, IRA retirement programs, and checking account management. Contact us anytime at 508-993-0011.