Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

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fortfun
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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by fortfun » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:59 pm

I've set up my Ally bank account so that I'm emailed every time their is a transaction. This way, I know up to the second when money is removed or added. We rarely write checks or use the ATM. Most bills are on auto pay and I'm alerted on these too. I do not double check the math. I assume Ally does that correctly. I do check credit card bills each month. We have had fraudulent charges on those a few times after data breaches.

I would advise having a sub account for your ATM. Only transfer money to this when it is needed. That way, you can't lose much money if your ATM is used fraudulently. I only keep $50 in my account for "ATM." I can quickly move money from my main savings account if I need to withdraw more.

bankle
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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by bankle » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:13 pm

Like some others here, I keep a "register" in Excel. I can plan out the whole year, as I have some specific savings goals, and a couple of large one-off-but-expected expenses. I feel much more in control this way, given my current situation (and that of a sibling, who tracks nothing, but whom I expect to have to help out periodically.). Pardon the digression.

I rarely write paper checks. I do reconcile monthly, which takes maybe 10 minutes?

Personal habit/temperament favors reconciliation for me.

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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by yangtui » Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:49 am

abuss368 wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:59 am
That’s was part of my reasoning for wanting to move away from regurgitating the activity online into the checkbook register. I have never found a mistake by any bank.
you should be able to pickup on any material mistakes just by quickly eyeballing the monthly activity. unless you have cash flow issues, it is sort of unnecessary to keep track of checks that have not been deposited yet. if a posted check looks weird you can always drill down and see a copy of the canceled check. having said this, if multiple people or businesses are using the accounts i can see the need to do detailed recs.

Rus In Urbe
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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by Rus In Urbe » Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:04 am

mrc
No I haven't balanced a checkbook for about 7 years, for three reasons:
First, everything is available online at the bank's website.
Second, I write very few checks. I do check credit card statements, and watch EFTs to pay utilities, CC balances.
Finally, the checking account balance is sufficient, to avoid overdrafts, so there is no reason to futz with a paper ledger.
There was a time, when we balanced to the penny, and used a small spiral notebook to record every purchase. That was when the monthly budget was ~$150.
Yep. Our situation exactly. And yessiree I remember the days when I balanced to the penny. Long ago.

In addition to the above, in order to keep an eye on spending habits, I use Banktivity, which is auto-linked to credit card and bank account. Works much better with Macs than any other program. When it populates income and spending, most of the repeating expenditures (utilities, groceries, telephone, etc.) fill automatically. You set up the categories yourself within the program of course. Once a month, I go through the items, categorize anything that isn't. At the end of the year, voila, the taxable and nontaxable spending is auto-generated to file taxes, and I have a nice overview of how much we are spending in each category.

Simplicity. :D

RUS :beer
I'd like to live as a poor man with lots of money. ~Pablo Picasso

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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by abuss368 » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:36 am

lostdog wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:50 pm
One joint checking account and Vanguard. That's it.

If my health weakens, we're having PAS take over the investment side.
That is what we do in terms of one bank account and Vanguard. Simplicity!

I agree and have left my spouse a print out of the website for PAS and instructions to call Vanguard PAS.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by abuss368 » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:59 am

fortfun wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:59 pm
I've set up my Ally bank account so that I'm emailed every time their is a transaction. This way, I know up to the second when money is removed or added. We rarely write checks or use the ATM. Most bills are on auto pay and I'm alerted on these too. I do not double check the math. I assume Ally does that correctly. I do check credit card bills each month. We have had fraudulent charges on those a few times after data breaches.

I would advise having a sub account for your ATM. Only transfer money to this when it is needed. That way, you can't lose much money if your ATM is used fraudulently. I only keep $50 in my account for "ATM." I can quickly move money from my main savings account if I need to withdraw more.
You can also restrict the daily amount of cash that could be withdrawn.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by abuss368 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:21 pm

About a week since we started this thread and we have come a long way. No more register that is simply copying what is online. The register is simply used for checks written (which is only a couple a month if that) and "escrowed" money built up over year for taxes.

Then to make it even easier, we switched all our bills due date. First we simply took all bills and allocated between two draft days a month. The draft days in terms of dollar amount are close to same.

Essentially we are paid twice a month. All bills are electronically paid twice a month (couple days after pay day). Result is when logging on to bank account the balance is pretty close to real time and what is available. The beauty and simplicity is a lot less time.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by abuss368 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:45 pm

Another update: New strategy and method working so well and find that we are not spending anywhere near the amount of time we previously did. Best part is there has been no change in quality. Still log on to our accounts to review activity. All monthly bills come out on only two different days each month. Simply taking the outstanding checks written as recorded in the register and subtracting from online total.

Technology can be good at times.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by dm200 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:35 pm

I now keep an Excel ledger and reconcile online every week or two. This takes a very small amount of time - and I generally keep only a small balance in the checking account. Therefore - I want to make sure I do not overdraw the account. This regular balancing actually takes much less time than it did in the old paper once a month reconciliation.

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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by abuss368 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:11 am

dm200 wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:35 pm
I now keep an Excel ledger and reconcile online every week or two. This takes a very small amount of time - and I generally keep only a small balance in the checking account. Therefore - I want to make sure I do not overdraw the account. This regular balancing actually takes much less time than it did in the old paper once a month reconciliation.
Do you record all transaction in the Excel ledger or just the uncleared items?
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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dm200
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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by dm200 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:21 am

abuss368 wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:11 am
dm200 wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:35 pm
I now keep an Excel ledger and reconcile online every week or two. This takes a very small amount of time - and I generally keep only a small balance in the checking account. Therefore - I want to make sure I do not overdraw the account. This regular balancing actually takes much less time than it did in the old paper once a month reconciliation.
Do you record all transaction in the Excel ledger or just the uncleared items?
I record them all in Excel as the deposits and withdrawals happen - write a check, get paid, use my debit card.

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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by abuss368 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:04 am

dm200 wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:21 am
abuss368 wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:11 am
dm200 wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:35 pm
I now keep an Excel ledger and reconcile online every week or two. This takes a very small amount of time - and I generally keep only a small balance in the checking account. Therefore - I want to make sure I do not overdraw the account. This regular balancing actually takes much less time than it did in the old paper once a month reconciliation.
Do you record all transaction in the Excel ledger or just the uncleared items?
I record them all in Excel as the deposits and withdrawals happen - write a check, get paid, use my debit card.
Thanks!
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

kaneohe
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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by kaneohe » Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:15 pm

Have a mystery that hopefully some of you have ideas about................
Old school balance checkbook every month . Usually things are fine. On rare occasion things don't balance and I need to spend
time and energy to find out why. Usually it's a math error on my part. Last month things balanced fine which is normal. There
is a line in the checkbook that tells me where the last balance check was done. This month things did not balance ........the last balance in the checkbook does not agree w/ the expected balance which is final statement balance plus new credits minus outstanding debits.
Yet the balance in the checkbook is the same as the actual balance in the account. The difference is about $30 and the remaining check
numbers suggest that there is not a check that was written and not recorded. Probably not worth the time but it is humbling to not understand why things don't balance. Any ideas? First pass at the math suggests no errors.

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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by Toons » Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:49 pm

Have not used a paper checkbook since I don't know when to balance or reconcile
Download transactions to
Quicken
:mrgreen:
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by hudson » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:46 pm

kaneohe wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:15 pm
Have a mystery that hopefully some of you have ideas about................
Old school balance checkbook every month . Usually things are fine. On rare occasion things don't balance and I need to spend
time and energy to find out why. Usually it's a math error on my part. Last month things balanced fine which is normal. There
is a line in the checkbook that tells me where the last balance check was done. This month things did not balance ........the last balance in the checkbook does not agree w/ the expected balance which is final statement balance plus new credits minus outstanding debits.
Yet the balance in the checkbook is the same as the actual balance in the account. The difference is about $30 and the remaining check
numbers suggest that there is not a check that was written and not recorded. Probably not worth the time but it is humbling to not understand why things don't balance. Any ideas? First pass at the math suggests no errors.
I run into the same problem all of the time, even though I'm using Microsoft Money Sunset Edition. I'll forget to enter a check or payment, and I'll have to backtrack. Sometimes, I'll double enter a payment or deposit. Sometimes it's a penny off. I just bite the bullet and figure it out. I try to be careful, but human error always arises. I do reconcile my checking account every few days and not once a month. With Money it only takes a few seconds. Some people just watch their balance and never reconcile. That doesn't work for me.
I don't reconcile my credit card accounts and that's how I pay for most everything. I get an email for any payments. I regularly check the credit card website. It doesn't bother me one bit not to reconcile credit cards. I guess it's the bank's money until I pay the bill.

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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by abuss368 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:56 pm

We have minimal transactions that post to the checking account and use the credit card for everything. Only a couple utilities, insurance, and loans. We changed all payment due dates for all bills to one of two specific dates during the month. Essentially the result is the cash balance that is online is adjusted for a few checks outstanding (the only item recorded in a check register) and that is the actual cash available.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by LilyFleur » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:20 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:56 pm
We have minimal transactions that post to the checking account and use the credit card for everything. Only a couple utilities, insurance, and loans. We changed all payment due dates for all bills to one of two specific dates during the month. Essentially the result is the cash balance that is online is adjusted for a few checks outstanding (the only item recorded in a check register) and that is the actual cash available.
I like the idea of consolidating your due dates for your bills. I never would have thought of that. Thanks!

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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by abuss368 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:58 pm

LilyFleur wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:20 pm
abuss368 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:56 pm
We have minimal transactions that post to the checking account and use the credit card for everything. Only a couple utilities, insurance, and loans. We changed all payment due dates for all bills to one of two specific dates during the month. Essentially the result is the cash balance that is online is adjusted for a few checks outstanding (the only item recorded in a check register) and that is the actual cash available.
I like the idea of consolidating your due dates for your bills. I never would have thought of that. Thanks!
Neither did I previously! I put some thought into how we could simplify and have a 100% accurate cash number. Change all due dates to two dates in a month. No other transactions in cash. Thus actual cash is bank balance online less a few outstanding checks.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

ARoseByAnyOtherName
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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:09 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:58 pm
LilyFleur wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:20 pm
abuss368 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:56 pm
We have minimal transactions that post to the checking account and use the credit card for everything. Only a couple utilities, insurance, and loans. We changed all payment due dates for all bills to one of two specific dates during the month. Essentially the result is the cash balance that is online is adjusted for a few checks outstanding (the only item recorded in a check register) and that is the actual cash available.
I like the idea of consolidating your due dates for your bills. I never would have thought of that. Thanks!
Neither did I previously! I put some thought into how we could simplify and have a 100% accurate cash number. Change all due dates to two dates in a month. No other transactions in cash. Thus actual cash is bank balance online less a few outstanding checks.
Two questions:

- why not consolidate to one date instead of two?
- if you don’t mind what are the two dates you choose?

Thanks for sharing!

EDIT: asking about consolidating to one date, not two.
Last edited by ARoseByAnyOtherName on Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by bayview » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:28 pm

I balance/reconcile our accounts weekly, using a checkbook register. I enter transactions as we set them up, not when they show up on the website. It keeps us aware of activity.

The one thing that I haven’t really figured out is how to capture/ track activity in our VG brokerage MM account. I still get cross-eyed trying to reconcile the activity I know about against what’s showing online. And if anything, this is probably the account that needs the closest monitoring, due to VG’s periodic IT off-roading.
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri

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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by abuss368 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:32 pm

lostdog wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:50 pm
I dropped quicken a few weeks ago. I now use check register template in Google sheets. It's super simple and free. I access it via my phone and my laptop.

We're also in the minimalism journey electronically and physically. We're moving most of our files to the Google cloud. For security we're using advanced protection two factor authentication.

One joint checking account and Vanguard. That's it.

If my health weakens, we're having PAS take over the investment side.
That has been our journey.

* Used Quicken for a decade and stopped over 10 years ago.
* Removing a ton of things and clutter both on the computer and the house.
* No check register (outside of only a few outstanding checks) either on paper or in cloud.
* One checking and Vanguard.
* If the day comes I can't do it, PAS is an option.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by abuss368 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:33 pm

ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:09 pm
abuss368 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:58 pm
LilyFleur wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:20 pm
abuss368 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:56 pm
We have minimal transactions that post to the checking account and use the credit card for everything. Only a couple utilities, insurance, and loans. We changed all payment due dates for all bills to one of two specific dates during the month. Essentially the result is the cash balance that is online is adjusted for a few checks outstanding (the only item recorded in a check register) and that is the actual cash available.
I like the idea of consolidating your due dates for your bills. I never would have thought of that. Thanks!
Neither did I previously! I put some thought into how we could simplify and have a 100% accurate cash number. Change all due dates to two dates in a month. No other transactions in cash. Thus actual cash is bank balance online less a few outstanding checks.
Two questions:

- why not consolidate to one date instead of two?
- if you don’t mind what are the two dates you choose?

Thanks for sharing!

EDIT: asking about consolidating to one date, not two.
Get paid twice a month (24 a year) so split bill on the two dates (the split was close to half of expenses). If I was still paid every other week (26 times a year), I would follow the same. The two dates for bills to be ACH from account is a couple of days after each pay date (so things settle for a day or two). I never appreciated the game changer that moving due dates has provided if one wants to eliminate checkbook registers.

This has been working wonders and my spouse understands it and loves it.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:04 pm

Duplicate post.
Last edited by Broken Man 1999 on Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:58 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:33 pm
ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:09 pm
abuss368 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:58 pm
LilyFleur wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:20 pm
abuss368 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:56 pm
We have minimal transactions that post to the checking account and use the credit card for everything. Only a couple utilities, insurance, and loans. We changed all payment due dates for all bills to one of two specific dates during the month. Essentially the result is the cash balance that is online is adjusted for a few checks outstanding (the only item recorded in a check register) and that is the actual cash available.
I like the idea of consolidating your due dates for your bills. I never would have thought of that. Thanks!
Neither did I previously! I put some thought into how we could simplify and have a 100% accurate cash number. Change all due dates to two dates in a month. No other transactions in cash. Thus actual cash is bank balance online less a few outstanding checks.
Two questions:

- why not consolidate to one date instead of two?
- if you don’t mind what are the two dates you choose?

Thanks for sharing!

EDIT: asking about consolidating to one date, not two.
Get paid twice a month (24 a year) so split bill on the two dates (the split was close to half of expenses). If I was still paid every other week (26 times a year), I would follow the same. The two dates for bills to be ACH from account is a couple of days after each pay date (so things settle for a day or two). I never appreciated the game changer that moving due dates has provided if one wants to eliminate checkbook registers.

This has been working wonders and my spouse understands it and loves it.
That makes a ton of sense. I might try it out.

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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by abuss368 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:16 am

ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:58 pm
abuss368 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:33 pm
ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:09 pm
abuss368 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:58 pm
LilyFleur wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:20 pm


I like the idea of consolidating your due dates for your bills. I never would have thought of that. Thanks!
Neither did I previously! I put some thought into how we could simplify and have a 100% accurate cash number. Change all due dates to two dates in a month. No other transactions in cash. Thus actual cash is bank balance online less a few outstanding checks.
Two questions:

- why not consolidate to one date instead of two?
- if you don’t mind what are the two dates you choose?

Thanks for sharing!

EDIT: asking about consolidating to one date, not two.
Get paid twice a month (24 a year) so split bill on the two dates (the split was close to half of expenses). If I was still paid every other week (26 times a year), I would follow the same. The two dates for bills to be ACH from account is a couple of days after each pay date (so things settle for a day or two). I never appreciated the game changer that moving due dates has provided if one wants to eliminate checkbook registers.

This has been working wonders and my spouse understands it and loves it.
That makes a ton of sense. I might try it out.
Great. Please stop back and update the forum on your thoughts and perspective.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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Michael Patrick
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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by Michael Patrick » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:40 am

I don't keep a paper register, but I do enter all checking account transactions in Quicken. I'm writing very few checks these days (mostly for school activities for my kids) but since I use that account to pay credit cards, utilities, car and mortgage payments, charitable donations, and regular monthly Roth IRA investments there's still a good amount of action to keep track of. Both of our paychecks are also direct deposited into that account.

For recurring transactions I usually enter them a month ahead, on both the income and expense sides so I can have an idea of what my balance will be.

I don't keep money just sitting in that account. If I have more than I need to cover my expenses I transfer it to an interest-bearing money market. If my bills are running high for the month I transfer money as needed from the money market. The register in Quicken is how I know which way the funds will be going.

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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by tomd37 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:52 am

At age 82 and with one checking account at the same bank since 1961, I continue to reconcile my account each month. The main benefit for me is that I 'catch' a check that I issued (electronic or paper) and forgot to post to my check register. I carry a large balance in my checking account so that would not be an issue, but I want everything to be correct.

Edited to add: The checking account earns 0.45% interest on the balance, thus I am earning something on the balance. Like another poster, I am considering opening a money market account at the same credit union and that account will earn double the interest, allow for easy transfer, and consolidate all accounts at one location. :moneybag
Last edited by tomd37 on Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by abuss368 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:09 am

Michael Patrick wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:40 am
I don't keep a paper register, but I do enter all checking account transactions in Quicken. I'm writing very few checks these days (mostly for school activities for my kids) but since I use that account to pay credit cards, utilities, car and mortgage payments, charitable donations, and regular monthly Roth IRA investments there's still a good amount of action to keep track of. Both of our paychecks are also direct deposited into that account.

For recurring transactions I usually enter them a month ahead, on both the income and expense sides so I can have an idea of what my balance will be.

I don't keep money just sitting in that account. If I have more than I need to cover my expenses I transfer it to an interest-bearing money market. If my bills are running high for the month I transfer money as needed from the money market. The register in Quicken is how I know which way the funds will be going.
We have done the same. Although getting to the point where considering getting rid of money market account and simply keeping all cash in checking. What is the overall impact? A hundred if that in interest income? The simplicity may be worth it. Excess cash can be invested.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by Michael Patrick » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:20 am

abuss368 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:09 am
Michael Patrick wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:40 am
I don't keep a paper register, but I do enter all checking account transactions in Quicken. I'm writing very few checks these days (mostly for school activities for my kids) but since I use that account to pay credit cards, utilities, car and mortgage payments, charitable donations, and regular monthly Roth IRA investments there's still a good amount of action to keep track of. Both of our paychecks are also direct deposited into that account.

For recurring transactions I usually enter them a month ahead, on both the income and expense sides so I can have an idea of what my balance will be.

I don't keep money just sitting in that account. If I have more than I need to cover my expenses I transfer it to an interest-bearing money market. If my bills are running high for the month I transfer money as needed from the money market. The register in Quicken is how I know which way the funds will be going.
We have done the same. Although getting to the point where considering getting rid of money market account and simply keeping all cash in checking. What is the overall impact? A hundred if that in interest income? The simplicity may be worth it. Excess cash can be invested.
There's also a psychological aspect to it for me. I hate transferring money from the MM to checking to cover bills. It irks me every time I have to do it. It's a lot easier for me to say no to a discretionary purchase if it will mean having to take funds out of the money market to cover it.

Plus I'm just trying to get by on a lowly civil servant's salary, so I'm not going to turn my nose up at $100 in interest.

dbr
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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by dbr » Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:17 am

I don't know about the reconciling part because I have never found an error that wasn't me forgetting to enter something or putting in the wrong number. But yes, we maintain a ledger in Excel just to keep track of cash, including when credit card accounts come due, what checks we have written for how much and whether they have cleared. We have one place money goes where the issue of was the check cashed is significant. Obviously you do have to go online to look up your account activity as well.

In my experience not doing that anymore was one of the first signposts for people in my family becoming unable to manage their financial affairs. Of course, one only sees that signpost well after the fact as one does not normally have one's nose in other people's checkbooks. It does explain things like finding an unopened letter from the water company threatening to shut off the water, etc.

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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by oldcomputerguy » Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:20 am

Call me old-fashioned, I keep a register with every deposit and withdrawal. It's not a paper register, it's a spreadsheet that calculates the totals for me. I haven't needed a calculator for checkbook balancing for years. If you're interested in seeing it, LadyGeek uploaded it to the wiki.
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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:27 am

I do the same thing I did in the 70's. Write every deposit or withdrawal in the register and balance once a month. While the number of checks is small, this is the account where my dozen or so credit cards are paid for, from where I ACH to one son's college and into which all my pay goes and all checks get deposited. It's my core account. So while I only wrote 1 check last month, I have 50 entries to go through. And yes, I balance to the penny!
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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by dm200 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:05 pm

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:20 am
Call me old-fashioned, I keep a register with every deposit and withdrawal. It's not a paper register, it's a spreadsheet that calculates the totals for me. I haven't needed a calculator for checkbook balancing for years. If you're interested in seeing it, LadyGeek uploaded it to the wiki.
Me too ;)

Doing this regularly (several times a month - using online bank information) can help catch errors, identity theft, other fraud, and so on. The earlier you catch such things - the less likely you will actually suffer a loss.

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Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Post by abuss368 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:55 pm

We kept a manual paper ledger for years. Eventually I begin to question the purpose of logging into our account online and copying transactions into the ledger. I arrived at the conclusion to write down outstanding checks only.

Now we simply log on and with all bills paid on only two calendar days, we simply subtract outstanding checks. It works. Everything is practically teal time today thus even less need for check registers.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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