The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Kristin at The Gold Project.
My checking account organization has definitely been a work-in-progress. I use both a debit card and actual checks (for bills), so a system has to be in place to make sure everything is accounted for and correct.
So, why do I have to organize my checking account?
Well, about six months ago, I lost my checkbook register and I had no idea what the balance was in my account. I felt like I was losing my mind for several days without my handy register. Luckily, I found it, but I vowed from that point on that I would do better about my finances.
I keep my checkbook in a Vera Bradley checkbook cover.
My checking account and finances contained in it are organized in a detailed process that I follow faithfully.
My Checkbook Register
I do not like the small register that comes with your actual checks when you receive them in the mail. I think they are too small, the lines aren’t big enough, and let’s be honest, this girl has a hard time seeing these days. I need something a little bigger that I can organize and see better.
I purchased a small 7 in. x 5 in. notebook from Wal-Mart that I use to record all of my family’s daily checking account transactions. Once it gets filled completely, I store it in my filing box and purchase a new one.
This little notebook goes everywhere with me. It remains in my purse at all times!
My Excel Document
Before I lost my checkbook register, I only kept a notebook. It never crossed my mind that I might need to have a backup somewhere in case I lost the original one.
Now, I keep an electronic copy of my checkbook register that I complete through Microsoft Excel. I update it weekly, keep the same workbook for an entire year, and label the sheets with the months.
The amounts on the worksheet are just an example. They are not real transactions. The “Balance” column contains a formula that calculates my remaining balance after each transaction I make.
Storing and Recording Receipts
Once I get a receipt from a store, I place it in one of the pockets in my purse. Then, when I get home, I place it in the holding area of my mail organizer and record the transaction in my register.
When I accumulate several receipts, I take those receipts and file them in my expanding receipt file that stays in the bottom cabinet of my desk.
Periodically, I will go through my receipt file and shred old receipts that I do not need anymore.
Online Banking has to be one of the best things about the Internet. I am obsessed with online banking. I literally check my statement every other day.
How does this process work?
I get out my checkbook register notebook, a pen, highlighter, and my printed bank statement.
I go through my printed statement and match it to my notebook, and do the following:
- Record any transactions that are on my bank statement, but not in my notebook.
- Mark out (with a pen) the items on the bank statement that I have already put in my notebook.
- Highlight transactions in my notebook that I have already written down prior to printing the new statement.
Once I am completely finished with the bank statement, I shred it.
Then, once I know everything matches on the bank statement and notebook, I record the transactions in my Excel document.
This process may seem a little too complicating, but it helps me keep my daily finances organized.
My name is Kristin and I am a high school career education teacher by day and a mommy/wife/blogger by night. I am married to my high school sweetheart and we have two loving children. We live in the bootheel of Missouri in a home that is always under construction. I get excitement out of finding new creative, functional, and cute ways to organize things! I also enjoy writing and documenting life as it happens. So, I put these three loves together and created The Gold Project. With the help of my husband, I am attempting to turn our house into a home. So, check out this special place of mine and take this journey with us!