Keeping track of all of your banking you do with your checking account is both difficult and tedious. Some people use checkbook logs … but who really writes EVERYTHING in those? Nobody. Using this method of personal budgeting in a word processing document is much more simpler and makes tons of sense. First start by opening a blank document in the word processing software of your choice. I prefer Microsoft Word.
Save the blank document on your desktop as “bill information” or something similar. Next at the top you will keep track of the transactions and checks you have out … and what they are for…in the form of an addition problem …. then at the bottom of those type in the total. This is just so you know how much money you should have in your checking account. Every time you open this document erase the items from the list that have come through your account and have already been subtracted.
Adjust the total also. Next, Make a list of all your bill names separated by a space between each….use a font that is clear … nothing fancy. Then go back to the top of the list, and from the first account start logging into each of your bills online …. getting the due date and the amount due. So if you are listing your car payment write “GMAC………3/12………….250.00 due” and do this all the way down your list of bills. This way, when you open the document you can see how many outstanding checks you have out …. what bills are due that day …. and how much is due.
Another helpful hint for this document is writing your account numbers and passwords for each of the accounts at the bottom …. also the customer service phone numbers you need to call if you have any issues. This will also help in the event that your wallet is stolen. You can immediately call these numbers before anyone gets a chance to use your credit cards or drain your checking account. Having this document on your desktop makes it easily accessible … keeps it right where it can remind you every time you use your computer and is much simpler than a checking account log.
Also, if you use your debit card it usually shows up immediately on your account … but if you are paying a bill with a check you are 99% of the time at home….so you can type it right in. I have been using this method for years and I never have late payments, fees, or misunderstandings with my bank. Everything is right where I can see it. I totally recommend you try this!