Only suckers balance their checkbooks

One of my coworkers asked me how we had discovered a fraud transaction so quickly. I told him that my wife came across it when looking at our online statement.
“Oh I don’t ever balance my check book!” he declared, telling me that he knew roughly how much was in there, and when he goes to the atm and can’t pull anything out, this is how he knows he has no money. This worked for a while for me too when I was 18 and a complete fucking moron.
You don’t have to obsessively check every transaction of your banking, but somewhere between here and there is a happy margin of managing your money.

This is what works for us.

Do a budget. I know most of you wont do this, and thats ok. It’s not my money you’re wasting, and I don’t mind.

Move as many transactions and bills online as you can. This makes it a lot easier to track and manage these accounts, set up automatic bill pay if possible

Get an easy to use and reliable financing software. We were very comfortable with Money, but once we switched to Mac, found that Quicken works just as well.

Balance your check book once a month when your statement comes. This should be fairly easy if your using a good software to track your money in the first place. This just double checks yourself and the bank.

Keep your receipts and enter them into your ledger every few days. This will keep you on top track of your budget more than once a month, and when you do this on a monday it helps you realize how much money you’ve been spending over the weekend.

Thats it.
Its not very difficult, but if you want to continue tracking your money against the ATM receipts, go ahead. I’m sure your bank loves, you and will happily take your money for overdraft charges and whatever else you are stupid enough to do, because hey its only money why should you care.

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One Response to Only suckers balance their checkbooks

  1. Shauna says:

    Good advice. I hate balancing my checkbook, and in fact don’t. I use a debit card–which is a great way to overdraft without realizing. I’ve begun habitually checking in with my online statements, which reminds me to limit my spending much more.
    You might like my blog also. http://www.shauna26.wordpress.com.

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