Okay, people, show of hands—how many of you actually balance your checkbook every month? Or check your monthly statement?
That’s what we thought.
While it may seem like—no, it definitely is—a pain in the you-know-what, keeping track of your banking is a must. What if the bank “loses” some of your money, or worse, says you have more than you do, so you start spending and then end up bouncing checks all over the place?
Okay, so that’s a bit of a stretch, but would you even know if someone was using your debit card?
Put all those receipts you collect to good use. Every time someone hands you one, stack it face down on top of the last in your wallet or in an envelope at home. When you write a check, write the number and amount on a piece of paper and add it to the pile.
You now have a chronological record of spending for the month. When your statement arrives, flip over your pile and match up the receipts. That’s an important step in balancing, which is important. Douglas Andrew, president of Paramount Financial Services, Inc., says that after all “money is simply an instrument at the end of the day.”