Q: I started using online banking and I love it. It’s so easy to keep track of everything and I can always see my accounts at the credit union, as well as what’s in them. Now that I’ve joined the new era, do I still need to keep a check register, or is that a thing of the past?
A: The short answer is yes, you definitely need to keep your check register up to date. Here’s why.
- As long as you’re using checks, you won’t know the true balance in your account unless you input the un-cleared checks you’ve written out against that account.
- Using a register helps you catch mistakes. You enter a check, or debit card purchase. When you reconcile your account, which should be done monthly, you’ll quickly find any discrepancies.
- The very act of using a register and reconciling your records against the credit union’s gives you a full picture of where your money is going. If you’re happy with what you’re seeing, great. If not, you’ll know what you need to change. Awareness is the first step, but without keeping a register, awareness is not likely.