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View Poll Results: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?
Yes, every month, using software 49 34.51%
Yes, every month, manually 32 22.54%
Yes, every few month, using software 4 2.82%
Yes, every few months, manually 6 4.23%
No 51 35.92%
Voters: 142. You may not vote on this poll

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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?
Old 08-28-2006, 03:55 PM   #21
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
the number of electronic transactions didn't outpace the number of checks written until 2003. Both the number of CC and debit card transactions are expected to surpass the number of checks written next year. Still, more than 30 billion checks are written in the US each year.
Not very surprising. I pay almost all of my bills online, but for about 70% of them CITI cuts a check and mails it to the recipient (at no cost to me). I suspect some of these accounts (some doctors, stores, etc) have EFT accounts but the info isn't readily available so the checks continue to flow.

As to the kids what used to drive me nuts with DS, when he was in college, and with DD now that she is, is the ATM fees. They take out minimal amounts (e.g. $20) to keep themselves from spending. But I couldn't count the number of times they ended up running short and taking more than one payment on the same day - naturally from other-bank ATMs running up uneccessary fees.
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?
Old 08-28-2006, 03:59 PM   #22
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?

Balance monthly with Money. Just caught a bank posting error on CC statement, they shorted my full CC payment by $20 and then charged a $24 finance charge. Took about 5 phone calls but should be corrected, I hope!
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?
Old 08-28-2006, 06:01 PM   #23
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?

I reconcile monthly. I do not have the automated bank-Quicken interface, that might make things easier. Anyway I feel like I need to enter everything so whenit comes tax time I just print out a report and use TurboTax. I don't bother having the two connect, making the report is enough. But if I didn't reconcile my checking I wouldn't bother entering the checks at all and then I would have a lot to sort out at tax time.
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?
Old 08-28-2006, 07:25 PM   #24
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?

i "balance" monthly. i use the word "balance" loosely, however, as i never seem to get the numbers right. but as long as the error is in my favour, i don't bother to go looking for it. so, if my numbers are always off, why do i bother? just to assure that i don't risk an overdraw. (my spouse also balances monthly ... usually to the penny. frustrating to the extreme.)
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?
Old 08-28-2006, 07:55 PM   #25
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?

Once a week or so...

Write very few checks, but use the ATM for cash (no fees, or course....) and bills are auto-pay. It's all online, so easy to keep track.
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?
Old 08-28-2006, 08:05 PM   #26
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?

I use the bank's on line check register.
It is great for computing cash flow needs and budgeting.
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?
Old 08-28-2006, 08:18 PM   #27
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
DD (away at college) now has two more overdrafts. Total overdraft fees since last May: $231.
I can't get her to reconcile her account, and apparently she doesn't even keep note of the balance.
I was curious as to how many of you regularly reconcile.
Bummer. Hopefully this is a problem in her solo account and not your family's joint account. Because it's not your problem anymore!

No doubt she'll see the results of the poll and immediately change her ways. Yup. Any second now.

As a nuclear engineer, I'd balance our checking account daily if our credit union could produce the statements that fast.
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?
Old 08-28-2006, 08:22 PM   #28
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?

I don't use a checking account, but I do "reconcile" (log all transactions to a budgeting spreadsheet) my savings account about once a month.
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?
Old 08-28-2006, 09:02 PM   #29
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?

Not only do I reconcile my checking account, but I reconcile ALL my accounts - that includes our credit card accounts, our IRAs, our mutual fund and brokerage accounts, even our treasury direct accounts (IBonds) on occasion to keep track of the interest accumulating there.

Thanks goodness for Quicken. It's easy (except for the credit card accounts where I manual go through and check off each receipt)

Only once found a bank error. I occasionally (rarely) find a credit card charge in error. Once I found that I wasn't credited for a mutual fund distribution.

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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?
Old 08-28-2006, 09:32 PM   #30
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?

DW set up some speadsheets and balances checking once a month.*
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?
Old 08-28-2006, 10:27 PM   #31
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?

Quote:
doesn't the bank offer your DD overdraft protection
There was some reason she didn't use that -- maybe because she doesn't have a credit card or because it was too expensive. I don't remember.

Quote:
Might suggest to DD that she pay the overdraft fees next time.
She does pay them all. The only reason I know about them is that she mistakenly gave our address as her permanent address, so the notices come here.

In a sense, though, any dollar that she spends or wastes is an additional dollar that I have to spend on her college.

----------------

I have caught numerous mistakes of mine over the years by reconciling. Once I got Quicken's autoreconcile working it has been almost totally painless.
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?
Old 08-28-2006, 10:32 PM   #32
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
Do people still write checks? It's a rare occassion for me. Credit cards, online bill pay, and cash take care of 95% of my transactions.
Yes. I am tired of paying $0.39 postage, especially for small bills. I just paid a bill of $.32.
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?
Old 08-29-2006, 06:02 AM   #33
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?

Used to always reconcile.. now I only track the $ investments and leave the bank account be since my Quicken won't handle both at once (excuse for laziness)? I track general spending levels only by the amount of $ => each year.

I jumped all over the Quicken/bank transaction downloads until I learned it was costing me $8.95/mo (something my bank didn't tell me at the outset, nor was it mentioned on their web site). Sayonara!

For small recurring bills, like our water bills, I would often write a bigger check and let them maintain the balance until it ran down. What I lost in interest on $50 was made up in 6 months of not having to write tiny checks and pay postage.
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?
Old 08-29-2006, 06:33 AM   #34
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
I jumped all over the Quicken/bank transaction downloads until I learned it was costing me $8.95/mo (something my bank didn't tell me at the outset, nor was it mentioned on their web site). Sayonara!
WHAAAaaaat! Highway robbery! Ouch. I guess it's because your bank is not US-based?

I download transactions from many different institutions - never have been charged for it.

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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?
Old 08-29-2006, 07:08 AM   #35
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?

Nope. US bank (Citizens in the NE). Signed up on-line for Quicken downloads but no mention of the fee anywhere, and I looked pretty hard. When I noticed the charges a couple months later I e-mailed and was told I had to take care of it over the phone. I phoned, canceled the service*, and got my fees back. They credited 2 months of fees, all smiles, no problem, all taken care of.

*Then, the next 2 months, there the fees were back again! I'd dumped the connection info from Quicken and hadn't accessed the account (which anyway has very few transactions -- I keep it for emergency ATM/debits and for paying off US cc bills). Another call to complain. This time they WOULD NOT refund the fees a second time even though I hadn't downloaded any xactions in the interim.. AND they said I had to send a signed letter in order to cancel the service (something they conveniently DID NOT tell me during the 1st phone call or in the e-mail). Bastards!
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?
Old 08-29-2006, 07:17 AM   #36
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?

Yikes! (But we really want to know what you called them in Italian )
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?
Old 08-29-2006, 07:36 AM   #37
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?


OLD SCHOOL...

DW reconciles each checking account manually every month. She shows me bank errors ocassionally. I input the data into my program. If my balance doesnt agree with DW usually its my error.

OLD TRICK...
If you can't or won't do the arithmetic, keep 2 checkbooks. Use one for odd numbered months and the other for even months. When the statement arrives there should seldom, if ever be an outstanding check.

High schools don't teach kids these basic skills.
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?
Old 08-29-2006, 08:16 AM   #38
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?

I do most of my banking on line but still write several checks a month. I do reconcile my account(s) every couple of months both in Money and in the check book registers.

Never found a bank error in 35+ years of having checking accounts. I do it for me; not because I don't trust the bank. Since I enter all my transactions in my Money program it helps me make sure everything is in there if I force myself to balance the accounts. Also, DW has her own checkbook so I need to know what she spends and make sure we don't run out of money .

The other accounts are also balanced each month or two just to keep me up to date on the activities and to see if I need to move anything around. With over 4 checking accounts to keep track of I feel the need to balance periodically.

My son, who is still in college, has his own accounts. All I do is electronically transfer $$ periodically when he requests it. I don't see his checks and if he bounces a check it is his problem to deal with. Since he has two jobs and is going to school he is pretty much on his own anyway. I just help out with the tuition and books at this point.

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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?
Old 08-29-2006, 08:32 AM   #39
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?

I do mine DAILY!

I bank with Citibank which sends the daily transactions through quicken

takes me about 30 seconds a day to do my checking and credit cards

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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?
Old 08-29-2006, 09:47 AM   #40
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Re: Do You Reconcile Your Checking Account?

Quote:
Do people still write checks?
I have all monthly expenses (phone, elec, etc) go to my credit card. So every month I have two things to pay: credit card and monthly college tuition payment.

I'd been doing this by ETFing the money from Vanguard to checking, then BillPaying the amounts from checking (online payment). But the transfers always favor the bank (transfer in takes 2 day, transfer out occurs immediately) and with leaving margins of error, I end up losing float each month. So now, I pay those two things with money market checks. I figure I save $25-$50 per year.
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