After reading a few recent threads on various skills people do or don’t have, or were or were not taught, the skill of balancing a checkbook has come up more times than anything else. Now, I didn’t really think this qualifies as that much of a skill, it’s really just adding and subtracting, I don’t really see what’s so hard to learn about it.
Maybe my concept of what it is is wrong, but I’ve always assumed balancing a checkbook is, at the end of the week, let’s say, you go through all the checks you’ve written, ATM withdrawls, deposits, debit card purchases, etc…and come up with a total amount out or into your account, then figure out your new account balance. Why is this something that needs to be taught? Isn’t it just common sense that you should know how much money youi have? Hell, I don’t even do it, I just keep a running tally in my head. Granted, sometimes I do lose track of what I have bought and how much it was (just recently, for example. I have made several small purchses and deposits cause I just moved.) But, more or less, I know how much I have without having to write everything down, and if I do need to double-check, I just look online and voila, there is my balance, though it might not have all of today’s transactions.
So, anyone else out there use this method? For some reason it just seems easier for me to do this than to remember every week to balance my checkbook. It’s easy for me to forget to do small tasks like that, so if I tried to do it, I’d probably not do it for two motnhs and find out I’m overdrawn by $500. By forcing myself to keep a running tally in my head, I (almost) always know how much I can spend.
Of course, I only have one bank account. I’m willing to agree that if I had more than two, then I would probably need to do some more organized form of management to keep track of all of them, but for now, this works for me just fine.