How to Reconcile a Checkbook Register

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Balance your checkbook register to prevent overdrawing your account.
Balance your checkbook register to prevent overdrawing your account. (Image: Sara Wight/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Many people attempt to keep track of their checking account balance by checking the ATM or logging into their personal accounts on their banking institution's website. These methods, however, are unreliable if you have forgotten about a check that you have written or a bank fee associated with a foreign ATM. The most reliable way to keep track of your bank account balance is by using your checkbook register and reconciling it at least once per month. To do this, you must keep track of all receipts for purchases and ATM withdrawals, all deposits that you have made and all checks that you have written.

Things You'll Need

  • Calculator
  • Bank statement
  • Pen
  • Paper

Review your checkbook register and your receipts to ensure that you have recorded all of your transactions up to the current date. Organize your receipts by date and review your register to make sure they are all recorded. Add any banking fees associated with ATM transactions in your register if the receipts do not account for them.

Compare the balance in your checkbook register on the date that your bank account statement was printed with the statement balance. If the numbers match, then you have accounted for all transactions. If the numbers do not match, compare each transaction in your bank statement to your checkbook register. Adjust your checkbook register to correct any errors that you have made. Call the bank if it has committed any errors.

Reconcile your checkbook register to the current date. Write your statement balance on a new sheet of paper and add every deposit that you have made since the bank statement was printed. Take the sum of the two numbers and subtract all checks and other withdrawals made since the statement was printed. Compare this amount to the current total in your checkbook register. The numbers should be the same. If the numbers are not the same, go back over your receipts and checks to make sure that you have written them down correctly and recalculate your math.

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