Balancing the Checkbook

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Bwis53
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Balancing the Checkbook

Postby Bwis53 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:42 pm

Every month I go through the ritual of using Summit's hard copy statement, filling out the back, balancing to the penny. I know just about everything that can go wrong. Am I the only one that does it that way anymore?

Henry Vilas
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Re: Balancing the Checkbook

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:49 pm

I used to. Since UWCU members can view all account info on line, I don't have to anymore. Does Summit offer that option?

fisticuffs
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Re: Balancing the Checkbook

Postby fisticuffs » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:51 pm

I just balance my checking on the calculator on my phone. If I spend $5.17 I subtract $6 from my available cash. I think I'm up about $60 right now.

Stebben84
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Re: Balancing the Checkbook

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:52 pm

I really don't see the need to balance a checkbook when everything is online real time. I couldn't imagine any back not offering that service.

Budgeting, that's a whole other story.

Bwis53
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Re: Balancing the Checkbook

Postby Bwis53 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:55 pm

fisticuffs wrote:I just balance my checking on the calculator on my phone. If I spend $5.17 I subtract $6 from my available cash. I think I'm up about $60 right now.


That stuff makes me crazy. I'm just a little too Bob Newhart.

Summit does offer online info. I just like to know exactly when and where I make a mistake.

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Re: Balancing the Checkbook

Postby kurt_w » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:10 pm

Bwis53 wrote:Every month I go through the ritual of using Summit's hard copy statement, filling out the back, balancing to the penny. I know just about everything that can go wrong. Am I the only one that does it that way anymore?


Nope. I do that too. Well, not Summit's statement anymore, though Ms Kurt and I were Summit members when we lived in Madison (and SCCU members, before it became Summit).

fisticuffs
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Re: Balancing the Checkbook

Postby fisticuffs » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:13 pm

On a side note I know I missed move your money day but in about an hour the wife and I are ditching M&I for UWCU. Savings, 2 checking accounts and closing an M&I credit card. Take that!, "The Man".

rabble
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Re: Balancing the Checkbook

Postby rabble » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:45 pm

We have UWCU and my wife still does it that way. That's cause she still goes through checkbooks. I write about three checks a year nowadays and I'm very very happy with the web branch. They even have a picture of the check in the statement.

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Re: Balancing the Checkbook

Postby Kenneth Burns » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:59 pm

I've never balanced on the back of a statement. Around the time I opened my first checking account, back in '93 or so, I also bought my first copy of Quicken. Never looked back. It's satisfying to finish reconciling a monthly statement in Quicken. A picture of a handshake appears on the screen. I'm not sure why.

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Re: Balancing the Checkbook

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:53 pm

rabble wrote:That's cause she still goes through checkbooks. I write about three checks a year nowadays and I'm very very happy with the web branch. They even have a picture of the check in the statement.


I'm the same way, and that's why I don't see a need to balance a check book. I may have only written 2 checks this whole year. I really don't understand why people use checks anymore other than to get some money before the paycheck comes in. I guess I'm not that worried to pay everything electronically. I really think everyone will be doing this sooner or later.

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Re: Balancing the Checkbook

Postby Archipants » Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:13 pm

I used to balance using paper/pdf statements every month as well when I was at M&I. I also used Quicken and would enter my receipts every few days... overkill in retrospect. I would make sure everything checked out down to the penny. I did like knowing exactly where I was and being able to accurately forecast out daily/weekly/monthly which was useful since there was often a lag as to when purchases would post on M&I's website.

We have since moved to UWCU and because of their pretty sweet online getup I have stopped with the balancing and use of Quicken. Every thing can be categorized and filtered right through their web interface. I would recommend UWCU for their web interface if nothing else.

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Re: Balancing the Checkbook

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:45 pm

Archipants wrote: I would recommend UWCU for their web interface if nothing else.


I've used them since I've been a wee teen. I'll never turn back. They have always been good to me with loans and low rates/fees. That said, I agree that their online banking is pretty sweet. I would recommend them to anyone and I have. Their categorization can be a bit off at times so you still have to manage but, in the end, let them do most of the work for you.

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Re: Balancing the Checkbook

Postby kurt_w » Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:08 pm

Stebben84 wrote:I've used them [UW Credit Union] since I've been a wee teen. I'll never turn back. They have always been good to me with loans and low rates/fees.


When Ms Kurt and I were buying our first house in Madison, I called around to literally 19 banks and credit unions, getting quotes on their mortgage rates. The best two (tied) were UW Credit Union and Summit (or SCCU, whichever it was at the time). All the banks had higher rates. Maybe that was just a temporary aberration, but it gave me a good excuse to stick with the credit union.

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Re: Balancing the Checkbook

Postby snoqueen » Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:15 pm

I don't do the balance thing. (I'm surprised so many people here do.)

When my statement arrives, I go through the list of checks and card debits and make sure each one corresponds to a real transaction. If something unaccountable shows up I track it down and verify, and if not I go to my credit union and we sort it out. This happens no more than every few years, if that.

I look to see that the beginning balance is the same as the end balance on the previous statement, and that the end balance makes sense, and any little fees are correct. There aren't a lot of little fees though.

But no, I don't do all the math in between. I figure the computer can do that better than me. I just keep enough in the account to know I won't run out in the middle of the month.

I remember my mother balanced her checkbook to the penny and always wrote in pencil, because if she corrected something she had to erase every single subsequent total and fix each one. She said she couldn't sleep if she didn't.

This must skip generations because I could never make myself that crazy.

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Re: Balancing the Checkbook

Postby Michael Patrick » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:22 pm

Kenneth Burns wrote:I've never balanced on the back of a statement. Around the time I opened my first checking account, back in '93 or so, I also bought my first copy of Quicken. Never looked back. It's satisfying to finish reconciling a monthly statement in Quicken. A picture of a handshake appears on the screen. I'm not sure why.


I'm a longtime Quicken user too. Download the statement, run through the reconcile routine, and I'm done in under 10 minutes in a typical month.


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