S/O--Do you balance your checkbook or something similar?

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Posted 3/22/2014 by Dani-Mani in NSBR Board
 

Dani-Mani
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Posted: 3/22/2014 4:15:04 PM
I had a huge (a few hundred) financial mistake recently (on my birthday!) that made me reconsider keeping a running ledger of what I spend. I have in the past, but then I started using online banking, which I know isn't 100% reliable all the time, but has been pretty reliable for me.

My grandmother balances her checkbook to the penny and is (without a doubt!) the most fiscally responsible person I've ever met. I'm in awe of her--I definitely did not get her financial skills!

I'm just trying to figure out in the age of online banking, text alerts, etc.--how many people keep an electronic spreadsheet or a paper copy of all their transactions??




* Harmony *
Puddle Jumper

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Posted: 3/22/2014 4:19:41 PM
I use Quicken to keep track of my spending/deposits and manage my budget. I have for years. I pretty much check it everyday and update it whenever I spend or deposit.

GVJ
Frozen Pea

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Posted: 3/22/2014 4:23:04 PM
I use a three column ledger notebook. I found once we started using debit cards, the check register wasn't enough to record all the transactions. One column I use for the transaction, one column for checking, and one column for savings. I have done this for years.

I also always balance to the penny, about once a week or a little more often. Before I pay bills, for sure. I always need to know about how much we have on hand at the beginning of the week on through the next bill paying session or payday.




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busypea
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Posted: 3/22/2014 4:23:11 PM
Yes, I balance all our accounts and reconcile them to the statements each month. I use software, not a paper register, but I do it religiously.

Online banking is a great thing, but it doesn't show you what is coming. If you forget about a periodic payment or something, it can cause a mess. And, other kinds of mistakes can and do happen.


jeremysgirl
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Posted: 3/22/2014 4:37:21 PM
I use my checkbook register to record all debit transactions and checks and I balance the checkbook almost everyday.

DaisyBlossom
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Posted: 3/22/2014 4:54:10 PM
We use a checkbook register and balance to the penny also.
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PolarGreen12
AncestralPea

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Posted: 3/22/2014 5:02:24 PM
I use an app on my iphone and ipad. I check it every day against my bank account. Takes all of two minutes.


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MergeLeft
Typical Liberal

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Posted: 3/22/2014 5:08:12 PM
I don't balance my checkbook anymore, but I do keep a running spreadsheet of what is due regularly each month, planned expenses, planned savings etc. and mark off each item as I pay it so I don't overspend. When we were younger and on a much tighter budget - the kind where a mistake of a few hundred dollars would be disastrous - I definitely balanced the checkbook. (And still made mistakes here and there.)

If it makes you feel any better, back when ATM deposits were a new thing, I mistakenly deposited several hundred dollars cash without a deposit slip. This must have been before the machine printed your info on the envelope, because it was a disaster - it was our rent money plus a bit more. The bank had me fill out a form and said it could be ten business days before they credited the amount to our account, and of course it took all ten days. In the mean time I had already dropped off our rent check and paid a couple of other bills, and of course all those checks bounced, so we had to pay late fees and bounced check fees. Which we really couldn't afford!

I still remember it so clearly because it was such a stupid thing to do, and at a point in our lives where we really didn't have the savings to cover the error. When I saw your other thread I immediately thought of it!

Sorry for the off-topic story but wanted to let you know that almost everyone makes financial mistakes and you'll get back on your feet.


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eebud
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Posted: 3/22/2014 5:20:57 PM
I use quicken and reconcile it against my statement every month. I use a check register ms office form to track all credit card charges and monthly auto charges and the very rare check. I reconcile all charges every month to make sure my credit card has not been used by someone else. With quicken, I see the charges every time I download so it's not like it would be a full month before I knew there was an issue.

And wanted to add, I am probably the most financially responsible person I know. LOL.





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AKathy
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Posted: 3/22/2014 5:30:57 PM
I use a register app on my phone to keep track of where I'm at.


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M in Carolina
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Posted: 3/22/2014 5:36:30 PM
I use Mint. On top of the balancing and email reminders that bills are due, my favorite feature is the customizable graphs that show my dh and me exactly where our money is going.

I remember my dad always saying that if you don't have your accounts balanced to the penny, you don't know if you're off by a penny or a hundred dollars. He was the most fiscally responsible person I ever knew.

My dh likes to keep track of our budget, but he has a degree in professional accounting and makes budgeting very complicated.

I'm going to do old school balancing and keep track. Dh is bad about impulse buys.



tinaev
PeaFixture

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Posted: 3/22/2014 5:38:36 PM
Nope. I did several years ago but since it is just me the check register and my online bank were exact copies of each other. So there is no point.

Mimima
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Posted: 3/22/2014 5:53:32 PM
I cannot imagine not reconciling my accounts monthly.


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MandaSue
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Posted: 3/22/2014 5:58:54 PM
I have a checkbook register set up in Excel. I balance it against my online banking account every few days. My balance is always spot on.


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moodyblue
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 3/22/2014 6:03:02 PM
I balance to the penny at least twice a month, and I always have.

h*pea*ing
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Posted: 3/22/2014 6:46:33 PM
I don't. I know what items are on autopay and what time of the month they come out. I check my bank account and credit card daily. It is only me so I know exactly what I've spent. When my ex I and were together I did balance more as I wasn't the only one spending money.


~heather~

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_Kristi_
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Posted: 3/22/2014 6:48:26 PM
I have a check book register & balance it weekly with my online banking.

I do round each transaction up to the next whole dollar amount so every 6 months to a year I have extra money that I move somewhere else.

singlewitch
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Posted: 3/22/2014 6:57:46 PM
I use on-line banking, including bill pay, and check the account everyday. I also have Quicken and download the info on the statements so I can categorize for tax purposes. Have not balanced a checkbook in years and have a much firmer hand on our finances!


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Peapod in Oz
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Posted: 3/22/2014 7:32:29 PM
I have a checkbook register I balance it weekly and double check it with my paper bank statement monthly.























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needmysanity
AncestralPea

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Posted: 3/22/2014 8:03:06 PM
Another Quicken user. I am OCD about our bank accounts and balance them weekly. I too made a huge financial mistake one and since then I'm over anxious.


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TXDancermom
AncestralPea

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Posted: 3/22/2014 8:12:28 PM
Another quicken user here - and I balance the checking accounts to the penny every month.

And I watch the on-line bank balances daily just to be sure there is nothing strange happening.

kipper
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Posted: 3/22/2014 8:38:26 PM
I used to be a banker, so I still balance my checkbook the "old-fashioned" way. It was so frustrating when customers called up mad at me that they over drafted their account. When I asked if they balanced their checkbook they always said no, they just looked online. Clearly that doesn't work for all people.


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KrissiesMom
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Posted: 3/23/2014 9:12:54 AM
To the penny every month. I was a bank manager for years and am the daughter of an accountant and bookkeeper. I have no choice

SweetieBsMom
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Posted: 3/23/2014 9:22:28 AM
To the penny every month. My checkbook is in Excel and goes back to 2006

TXMary
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Posted: 3/23/2014 9:31:20 AM
I use Quicken and a paper checkbook register. I balance every month to the penny. I worked for the credit bureau for years and DH is a senior officer at our bank. We are very financially responsible.



*melrose*
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Posted: 3/23/2014 10:05:58 AM
I balance to the penny every month. I use an old version of MS Money. I pay my bills online once a month. I use my credit card for all other purchases in the month (groceries, gas, etc).


melrose
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blueswede
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Posted: 3/23/2014 1:14:42 PM
I use Microsoft Money and balance to my statements every month. I don't use the check register but do record transactions using the software on a daily basis. I can't rely on the balance on the bank website because there is usually a difference due to the float.


Eileen

garcia5050
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Posted: 3/23/2014 1:31:38 PM
I was a bank teller for 8 years and saw every disaster. I've also been a victim of PayPal, debit card fraud, and ID theft (all were several years apart). But I do look at my accounts every other day and like to know exactly how much should be there. Sometimes those fraud people will try to run a transaction for a few cents through your account before hitting you for the big amount.

mightyme
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Posted: 3/23/2014 1:45:28 PM

We use a checkbook register and balance to the penny also.

Same here. Been doing for over 20 years. My mom still does it too. I dont use the bank statement. I use the online banks site at least weekly.

scrappysailorswife
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 3/23/2014 1:49:51 PM
I worked in the banking industry for years, and I have been a victim of identity theft and debit card fraud. I check my accounts daily, and did so even before the identity theft and debit card fraud, so I was able to catch the issues right away. I love online banking and being able to see everything that's going on with my accounts in real time in one place.

Kiwi-Jo
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Posted: 3/23/2014 1:58:20 PM
No, I haven't done anything to 'balance' my bank accounts for years.

I also haven't used a cheque for years.
All my transactions are done by automatic payment or online banking, so when I look atmy account online it is absolutely up to date, with no un presented transactions whatsoever.

It shows exactly what I have in the bank, and all the payments that I have scheduled for the future.




**Disclaimer: Any errors in spelling, fact or tact are transmission errors.

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stittsygirl
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Posted: 3/23/2014 2:03:26 PM
I use an app called iReconcile on my iPad/iPhone, and balance it to the penny against my account's online information every few days or so.



Kristen, lucky mom and proud retired Army wife!




psoccer
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Posted: 3/23/2014 2:14:43 PM
"I used to be a banker, so I still balance my checkbook the "old-fashioned" way. It was so frustrating when customers called up mad at me that they over drafted their account. When I asked if they balanced their checkbook they always said no, they just looked online. Clearly that doesn't work for all people."

Haha Kipper, that is me to a T.
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