Your Checking Account Statement
The information included in your checking account statement will help you reconcile (balance) your checkbook. Be on the alert for errors, or evidence of identity theft.
Your checking account statement will contain:
- The statement period for the activity in the account
- The account number
- The account summary
- A detailed list of checks that have been cashed
- The monthly maintenance charge for the account
- A list of your withdrawals
- Deposits and other credits
- ATM locations used
Keeping Track of Your Checks
To keep track of all the deposits (credits) you make, checks you write, ATM withdrawals, and fees you are charged (debits), record them in your check register:
- Your starting balance
- Check number (this alerts you if a check is missing in sequence)
- Date you wrote the check or made the deposit
- Who you wrote the check to
- What you wrote the check for
- The amount of the check
If you used your ATM or check card, enter the amount as you would a check.
Reconciling Your Checkbook
Reconcile your checkbook every month to be certain there are no errors in accounting.
Mark in your checkbook register every item that appears on your statement. If there is an item on your statement not listed in your check register, determine if it is accurate. If the item is correct, list it in your check register. If the item is incorrect, call your financial institution immediately to have it investigated.
Your financial institution should provide you with a monthly reconciliation worksheet with your statement. Enter the ending balance shown on your statement. (See Diagram H)
List the deposits and other credits that are in your checkbook register but are not on your statement. Add these to your ending balance.
List the checks, ATM withdrawals, fees and other debits that are on your checkbook register but not listed on the statement. Subtract these from your balance in Step 3 to get your new ending balance.
Write the ending balance in your checkbook register.
Using a checking account properly is neither hard nor time consuming – it just takes getting into the routine of monitoring your accounts and following a few simple rules. Once you do, you'll never have to wonder if there is enough money in your account to cover a check again.
Complete the exercises on the following pages to make sure you're comfortable with all of the tools necessary for maintaining your account.