(Originally posted in May, 2012 but, due to computer issues, I had to re-do the posts from this series. If you are interested in what happened, you can read more here).
Let’d dive right into check writing and keeping a balanced check register. While I realize that check writing is becoming a thing of the past, it is still important to know how to properly write a check, so let’s go over it quickly:
An important (and often overlooked) next step is to then record this check in the register. The register is the lined book that came in the box with your checks. You must then subtract the amount from the balance so that you know how much money you have left.
The flip side to writing a check is receiving a check. So, what do you do before you deposit a check that you were given into your bank account? You must first sign the check along the upper backside of the check, but be warned: don’t sign the check until you are at the bank or ATM machine. The reason for this is simple. Once you have signed the back of the check (also called ‘endorsing’) the check is as good a cash to anyone who finds it – should you lose it before getting to the bank. One further tip I could share with you is that you can rest easier if you simply write “For Deposit Only – XXXXXX” (your account number should go in place of these Xs) along with your signature. That way, even IF you lose the check and somebody else were to find it, the only action that can be taken with that check is to be deposited to the indicated account.
Keeping track of checks you have written and deposits you have made in your register will enable you to have an accurate picture of what your balance really is at any point.
To take this lesson a little further, check out the video on About.com on balancing your checkbook here.
I realize that most of my readers already have mastered the basics of banking, but remember that my purpose for this blog series is to go over the essentials that one will need when first starting out on their own. One thing that I have found time and time again, is that it is good for all of us to review the basics. I know that I need to record every transaction in my register . . . but that doesn’t mean I do it. Anyone with me there? (wink)
This is a post from the Life Essentials series. This series is written with the newly independent young adult in mind. It is my hope that these posts will guide him/her as they begin to learn how to live life well. Most posts, however, are also completely applicable to those that have been ‘on their own’ for years. For a list of the other posts in this series, click HERE