Tips to Practice Responsible Account Management
Balancing your Checkbook
Even if you don’t carry a checkbook or write many checks, it is still important to balance your checkbook.
Learning how to balance (or reconcile) your account is easy. It only takes a few extra minutes every month, and dedication to developing good account management habits.
By writing down every transaction as it occurs (including any fees, such as ATM fees) in your check register, you will have a running tally of what your current Bank account balance should be. This can be useful when you want to write a check, or withdraw cash, and you need to know whether you have enough money in the account to cover it.
Balancing your checkbook every month helps you:
- Keep track of your money
- Catch mistakes
- Avoid overdrafts
Tracking your Transactions
Part of responsible financial management is good record keeping. CityNET Online Banking can always be your “go to” when it comes to monitoring your transaction history and knowing your current account balance, but it is just as important for you to keep a hard copy of your finances for your own day-to-day records.
Record all transactions you make in your check register, including online bill payments and VISA Debit Card purchases, as you make them. If pen and paper is a little old-fashioned for you, there are mobile check register applications available for some mobile devices. Whether you use the latest technology or go the traditional route, knowing how much money you have in the Bank will help you stay on track and avoid any unnecessary fees.
HINT: The name “check register” can be slightly misleading – remember that it is not JUST a place to track the checks you write. In order to be a useful tool, you should ALSO record your other transactions in your check register – including Debit Check Card transactions, ATM withdrawals, Bank deposits and any fees.
Balancing your Account
Once a month, your Bank account statement arrives in the mail or you get a notice that it is available to you online. If you have tracked all of your transactions over the course of the month, you will find that they match up with what is on your statement when you balance, or reconcile, your account.
Balancing your account only takes about 5 to 10 minutes and is one of the best money management habits you can have. Simply go through your statement, look at each transaction and make sure everything on your statement matches what is in your check register. You can check off the items in your check register that match your statement.
If you find something on your statement that does not match your check register, take a minute to try to figure out why. Did you forget to put something in your register? Did you mix up the numbers in one of your figures? Did the Bank make an error? Although it is rare, it can happen occasionally.
We encourage you to balance your Bank account with our step-by-step Account Balancing Worksheet that you will find included in your statement each month.