Reconciling your account balance monthly is a good idea whether you obtain an account statement online or by mail. Start with the closing balance shown on the bank or credit union checking account statement. Add to that balance the total of all deposits that have not yet cleared (that is, recent deposits that you made that are not shown on the statement). Calculate a subtotal. From this amount, subtract the total of all checks that have not cleared (that is, recently written checks that are not shown on the statement).
The result should equal the statement balance. If not, check for the cause of the difference in balances including math errors, checks or ATM withdrawals that were not recorded, and unrecorded bank fees. Writing down all activities related to the account (that is, deposits, checks written, direct withdrawals, and ATM transactions) in the checkbook register as the transaction occurs helps eliminate various bank fees for your account being overdrawn. This is especially important if you are using a debit card, instead of, or in addition to, checks to make account withdrawals. Every transaction tied to the checking account needs to be recorded.
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