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View Poll Results: Do you keep your checkbook balanced?
Yes. Balance it to the penny. 82 54.67%
Yes. But I round (for example, to the dollar) 9 6.00%
Yes. I have some other system. 11 7.33%
No. I just depend on the bank statements. 24 16.00%
No. I don't want to fuss with the task of balancing. 24 16.00%
Voters: 150. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-14-2010, 10:13 AM   #41
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I take a quick look at my account balances (have several checking acccounts, from when the FDIC deposit insurance limit was 100K- I was moving into cash for a RE investment, at the same time acting as executor of my mothers estate and didn't want to go over the 100K limit if any one bank got into trouble.... no need for it now with the current balances higher limits, but I have great relationships with all the banks, so I continue...)about once a week online, usually before paying bills. I have a pretty good idea what the balance should be, it is always about that amount; occasionally I have to dig a little deeper and determine status of an outstanding check, but not very often. Haven't balanced my checkbook since 1977; when there was nothing to balance...
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:41 AM   #42
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I balance to the penny. But I have a spreadsheet that does all the math and balancing for me.

I enter transactions as they occur into my Google Docs-hosted "online checkbook register" spreadsheet that I created. I have a column where I put an "x" for every transaction that is shown on the statement. I do this once a month when they mail me the statement. There is another column that keeps track of the running account balance with all the credits and debits applied. This tells me whether I need to transfer more money in there or take money out to a money market account that earns more interest. There is another column for the value "Does Account Statement balance equal this balance"? If the value on that column for the last row equals my account statement, then I'm balanced.

Pennies are important because it should balance exactly, otherwise there could be a problem. It's not that I care about a few pennies, but rather that in the past I have ignored pennies and there ended up being errors that I should have caught.

Every time I balance my "checkbook" I smile a little because the spreadsheet makes things so much simpler vs. the old pen and paper method. And I can access the checkbook register "from the cloud" so, for example, I can record transactions that pass through the checking account while away from my checkbook or away from my home computer network. Comes in handy mostly for paypal transactions, paying for paypal shipping, etc.

I also skim the Money Market account transactions on the monthly statements to make sure I got paid the right amounts and nothing fishy is going out of there.
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:12 AM   #43
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In these days of credit cards (no annual fee, cash back) and electronic funds transfers, what's a checkbook?
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Old 06-16-2010, 02:29 PM   #44
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I balance to the penny using Quicken. Partly because those pennies still matter right now, and it's my OCD habits.
I actually enjoy it, and spend a lot of time in Quicken analyzing numbers and evaluating expenses.
I have a "buffer" amount that I don't include in my total, but I have a couple accounts setup for auto-pay, so I check those regularly.
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Old 06-16-2010, 02:42 PM   #45
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No, and I am so embarrassed.
I used to balance to the penny with Quicken, but got lazy.
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:39 PM   #46
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I balance to the penny every month via spreadsheet. Old habits die hard. Almost everything goes on the credit cards (pay off every month and get cash back ) and I write very few checks. Like another poster, almost all of the action is in the credit cards.
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:46 PM   #47
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About once a week I reconcile my online checking account statement with Quicken. But no, I don't actually enter stuff manually into a check register. That's *so* last century.
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Old 06-16-2010, 06:47 PM   #48
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I keep a checkbook, but I don't reconcile it with my monthly statements. I do confirm that I have entered all of the ATM withdrawals. Since my checking account never has less than ~$4-5K in it, the exact number is unimportant.
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Old 06-16-2010, 07:42 PM   #49
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With so many people using credit cards I guess it would be valid to ask if you reconcile your credit card statements against receipts. I do.
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:15 PM   #50
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I don't reconcile my credit card statements but do skim it over for anything unusual.
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:51 PM   #51
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With so many people using credit cards I guess it would be valid to ask if you reconcile your credit card statements against receipts. I do.
Yup!
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Old 06-16-2010, 09:09 PM   #52
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I don't reconcile my credit card statements but do skim it over for anything unusual.
yep
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Old 06-16-2010, 09:41 PM   #53
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I don't balance my checkbook, but do look online a few times per month. I skim my credit card statements for anything unusual also. A grocery store charged me the exact same amount on the exact same day and I knew that was incorrect. They credited my account. I also found a charge that was fraud and had to have that account closed and a new card set up. We were not charged for it. If someone would use it on one of the places that we go to regularly, I probably would not catch it. I need to do better.
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:23 AM   #54
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Nice avatar. Saw the movie, and recognized bits of Bad Blake in some of my old musician buddies...
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Old 06-17-2010, 12:49 PM   #55
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I don't balance my checkbook, but do look online a few times per month. I skim my credit card statements for anything unusual also. A grocery store charged me the exact same amount on the exact same day and I knew that was incorrect. They credited my account. I also found a charge that was fraud and had to have that account closed and a new card set up. We were not charged for it. If someone would use it on one of the places that we go to regularly, I probably would not catch it. I need to do better.
I had a double charge on my credit card back in the days before card scanners when the merchants would take a carbon copy imprint of card. I wrote a letter to my cc company pointing out the duplicate charge and they took it off. That was the only time I found an error.

As for my checking account, way back again (around 25 years ago), I had made my annual $2000 deposit from my checking account to my IRA but the check didn't clear. They gave me credit in my IRA, but my checking account was never debited the check. I even went as far as calling my bank, telling them my check never cleared. They pretty much just ignored me, said, don't worry it should clear. It never did so I guess the check just ended up somewhere in the twightlight zone and was never processed through the bank . After waiting for about a year, with that check never clearing, I rebalanced my checkbook -- bank error in my favor
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Old 06-17-2010, 04:31 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
I don't reconcile my credit card statements but do skim it over for anything unusual.
Maybe I'm paranoid, but I check every single CC entry for accuracy. If I'm missing a receipt I track it down. Sure, DW usually is the reason for most missing docs and they are usually from Amazon, but I make her verify each one.

On occasion I have found an error and the CC company is great about making adjustments for incorrect entries.
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Old 06-17-2010, 06:26 PM   #57
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Maybe I'm paranoid, but I check every single CC entry for accuracy.
Me too. And I save every receipt forever.

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On occasion I have found an error and the CC company is great about making adjustments for incorrect entries.
Same here. Wild guess, but I'd say one in every 1,000 transactions has an error in it. The error has never been in my favor.
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Old 06-17-2010, 06:31 PM   #58
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I don't balance but I check transactions and make sure there's always cash available to cover outstanding and upcoming expenses.
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:23 PM   #59
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Balancing my chequebooks would be a waste of time because they don't show the whole story of my current accounts. Most of my payments and cash inflows are online and they come from several different sources. I get $200 cash from the ATM about every two weeks and the majority of my expenditures are by credit card or are automated. I only use cheques when there is no alternative. I look at my accounts two or three times weekly and only from my own computers. Right now I have a few large bills and a paycheque pending so I am keeping a close eye on the sequence of cashflows to ensure that I don't go in the red.
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Old 06-18-2010, 06:40 PM   #60
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I said "To the penny," but last month it was off by exactly one penny, and I said "faggetaboutit."
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