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Strike a balance in your checkbook with these easy steps
The most common cause of overdrafts is losing track of how much money is in your account. Reconciling your checkbook register each month is the best way to keep your account in balance. If you haven't balanced your checkbook before, follow these easy steps:
- Record all transactions as they occur. This includes checks, deposits, ATM withdrawals, fees, debit card transactions, transfers, automatic payments, etc.
- When your statement arrives, compare the transactions that appear there to those recorded in your register, checking them off as you go.
- Subtract any checks or other transactions showing in your register but not showing on the statement from the statement balance.
- Add any deposits that have been credited to your account since the statement end date to the statement balance.
At this point, your register balance and statement balance should match. If they don't, check for one of these common causes of discrepancy:
- Do you have outstanding checks from prior months?
- Did you carry forward the correct balance when you began a new register page?
- Can you divide the discrepancy evenly by two? If so, you may have added a figure that should have been subtracted.
- Can you divide the discrepancy evenly by three or nine? If so, you may have transposed two numbers when making an entry.
An overdrawn account is a costly mistake that can be easily avoided by balancing your checkbook each month. Try using the statement balancing worksheet, and stop by and visit us at any branch if you have questions. We're happy to help!