//The Art of Balancing your Checkbook
Maintaining a checking account is basic for financial management. It requires that you keep track of everything you buy, as well as your transactions. You do this by recording them in your tracking register (the booklet that comes with your checks). Below are steps you can take to balance your checkbook and learn financial responsibility.
1. Use your check register. Whenever you write a check or make an electronic transaction using an ATM or Debit card, you need to record the transaction in your register. The register is set up like a chart with rows and columns. In each row, there is the following:
- an area to record the date
- check number (if applicable)
- description of transaction
- amount of payment
- amount of deposit
There may also be a column where you can check off the transaction when you see it appear on your monthly or quarterly statement.
2. Track your transaction. Any time you perform a transaction, write down the transaction information in the appropriate boxes in that row. You will need to either subtract the dollar amount (if it’s a purchase or withdrawal), or add it up (if it’s a deposit), from the balance. Do this for each transaction you make. This will let you know how much money you have in your account and how much you can spend.
3. You’re on your way. You’ve now learned one of the first lessons in financial management. If you follow these simple steps of balancing your checkbook, you’ll be on your way toward maintaining your checking account and becoming a responsible member of the financial community.
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