Regarded by many as an impossible and/or useless activity carried out by anal types. Be that as it may; I do it every month and am usually successful.

The point is to verify that you and your bank agree on how much money you have. Don't forget that they may easily be wrong. This is how it's done:

  1. in your ledger, check off all the items found on your bank statement.
  2. take the ending balance from your bank statement
  3. add to that number all your unchecked deposits
  4. subtract all your unchecked debits (withdrawals, payments, etc.)
  5. the resulting number should be the same as the final balance in your ledger.
If it isn't, the fun begins. You can try all of these steps to try to reconcile the numbers:
  • subtract the number you derived [above] from the final balance in your ledger and see whether you can find an item (or items) that correspond to that number. Maybe you duplicated an item in that amount, or didn't check it off.
  • check all of your addition in your ledger
  • recheck the figures you used to try to balance and redo your arithmetic
Well, now you see why people hate to balance their checkbook. It involves a form of detective work that has a very limited appeal.

On the upside, if you do it regularly you will know just how much money you have in the bank (if any) and you will be able to occasionally catch the bank in their errors.

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