Janesville67.3°

Balancing your books

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Steve Knox
November 28, 2012

I was stumped. While I realized my online balance and my 'real balance' would never be 100 percent in sync the distance in quantity was too great. It was close to the end of the month but I decided to do a mid-month reconcile because it was bugging me. My method is a twist of old school and technology to balance my books (books are much lighter) but I still balance my checkbook and log my credit and savings transactions.

Thanks to Mr. Jerome's Accounting class at Craig High School I learned to properly balance a checkbook. This is the old school method of my book balancing. I check every line on my Quicken registrar for a transaction that has cleared and then again for when it's reconciled. Sure, I could use Quicken to automatically download that information (that's the higher-tech part) but I want to make sure I go through each line and it makes sense.

Newsflash to those who utilize their online balances to check if they have enough money to spend - you may have items that haven't cleared. I've seen too many people get 'bit' with service fees because they relied on their online balances, only to realize they forgot a large transaction hadn't cleared. While my method may be a tad time consuming I know what my true balance is at any given time. This is why my internal alarms went off. Mine was too far off.

Oh, my balance? Yeah I found the error. I wrote a check…yes an actual check…and forgot to log it. It was earlier in the month and once I entered it - bingo! I was balanced. Now, hurry along payday. I need to enter a deposit this week.

Do you balance your books? What's your method?



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