Each month, you will receive an account statement that summarizes all your account activity including cashed checks, withdrawals, deposits and any fees for the statement period. Between statement periods, you can use free services, such as online banking or mobile banking, to keep on top of your current account activity.

Even though the bank provides this information for you, actively and accurately tracking your own account activity as it occurs is an important habit to get into. The transaction register that comes with your account is a convenient tracking tool or you may prefer to use higher-tech options for recording your transactions. Either way, the key is consistency. Faithfully keeping track of the actual flow of funds through your account puts you in charge of your finances.

Follow these simple steps to keep your transaction register as up to date as possible:

  Tip  

An important step in managing your finances is consistently tracking your account activity.
1. Track your withdrawals : When you subtract money from your account by any method such as writing a check, making an ATM withdrawal, initiating an online payment or using your debit card, record the details in your transaction register in the designated areas below:

  • Date : Make sure this date matches the date written on the check or when you made the payment.

  • Number : When you write a check, always record the correct check number. This can help you track your check if it’s lost or disputed. If using a debit card, there is no check number, but make sure to track in the check register that this type of payment was used.

  • Transaction description : In the two lines provided, record details of the transaction. This should include the name of the company or person you’re paying and a brief description of the purchase.

  • Withdrawals : Write the amount of each transaction. Don’t forget to include regular fees, online payments, ATM transactions, and anything else that might impact the account. This can include money automatically withdrawn from your accounts on a regular basis, such as gym memberships and other automatic payments.

2. Add your deposits : Add a new entry any time money is added to the account. Include the following information:

  • Date : Record the date the money was deposited into your account.
  • Transaction description : Record the details, including a description of where the money came from. This may simply say, “payroll.” If you get paid via direct deposit, be sure to enter this information to keep your balance accurate.
  • Amount : Enter the amount of money you deposited.

3. Update your balance: After each transaction, add or subtract the amount from the previous listing and record your updated balance. By keeping a current record of your balance, you can reduce the risk of overdrawing your account, which happens when there is not enough money in an account to cover a transaction.

4. Reconcile your accounts : Review your account statements each month to ensure the information matches up with your personal transaction register.  If helpful, use a separate worksheet to:

  • Check off all transactions that have cleared and make sure the amounts match your records.

  • Record any discrepancies, such as withdrawals you may have missed, and update your register accordingly. In your ending balance, be sure to account for any recent transactions that don’t yet appear on the statement – and look for them on your next statement. If any discrepancies remain, follow up with your bank or other necessary parties to resolve them.

Remember, you are always in the best position to manage your finances  when you keep an accurate and current record of every transaction that  will affect your account.

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When should you record transactions in your transaction record?

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