Do You Still Balance Your Checkbook? Our Team is Speaking Out!
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Do people really still balance their checkbooks?
We live in a fast-paced world of using chips on cards for almost all our purchases. The question we’re wondering is if the dreaded task of balancing a checkbook with pen and paper has gone the way of cursive writing and stick shifts?
I’m sharing some interesting facts on checkbooks and sharing what our team has to say about whether they still balance their checkbooks! (We also want to know what you think!)
Hip Tip: Running low on checks? Score a single box of custom bank checks from Checks Unlimited for just $6.99 shipped + free address labels!
Why do people still write checks?
Checks are a trusted, paper form of payment made out to a specific person or business that’s directly linked to your bank account. Not only have they been around for more than a century, but some people still prefer to have an official paper form of payment for their records so they can discover and adjust mistakes more quickly. Checking ledgers can also help you know how much is in each of your accounts (which can ultimately save you from low balances and costly overdraft fees).
Between you, retailers, general fraud, or even your bank, mistakes are still made, even in the age of electronic payments and records. Keeping track will help you know if something went wrong.
Did You Know: According to Checks Unlimited, 1.2 million fraudulent checks are written each day. 😱
Here’s how our team feels about balancing their checkbooks:
Here’s why team members DON’T physically balance their checkbook:
“I do NOT balance my checkbook. I always stuck to my Dad’s mantra – and while it won’t work for everyone, it has for me: Never spend more money than you have.” – Jamie
“I do all my banking online. It seems a ton easier. I do keep a small list of the checks I write (and their numbers when I do have to write a check), so I know what to keep a lookout for when it clears online.” – Amber S.
“We write maybe one paper check a month, so no. Everything is autopay. If we do write a check, it’s easy to see if it clears online.” – Lina
“I write one check a month for rent, and all other bills are handled online, so I don’t bother balancing a checkbook. However, I do monitor all my transactions online since so much of my spending is on my rewards credit card – just so I can catch something if a payment or account balance looks off.” – Emily
“I don’t – our water bill is the only thing that requires an actual check and it’s paid 4 times a year. I pay all of my bills at one time, and everything is charged to a credit card, so most everything is done online.” – Chelsey
“I don’t balance my checkbook, however, my husband keeps track on an app on his phone daily, and we are always in communication what all balances are at for our checking and savings accounts. This helps us stay on track with the budget we set and what we save each pay period. Even though we don’t write it down, we still keep track!” – Sara
I have an app for that!” – Tiffany
“We do all of our banking online. We only use checks in very rare circumstances which may just be the water bill. We have all of our monthly bills set up for auto-pay, but I do check my balance/bank account every day with their app just to make sure nothing is getting taken out that shouldn’t be. It’s not the perfect system, but it works for now.” – Jessica
“I bank online for everything. If I do write a check, it’s rare. I’ll write the # of the check, what it’s for, and the amount/date on the back part of the check pad. Then I’ll wait until the check clears and will put a line through the item on the check pad.” – Irene
“I have not balanced my checkbook in at least 3 years. The only time I ever find myself writing checks are to my kiddos’ schools (for field trips, party expenses, etc.), when I am making a big purchase that I want a record of (like buying a car or an item off of Craigslist) and sometimes to reimburse a friend/family member for something (but 99% of the time, I would prefer to give cash or use PayPal). I also try to use my bank’s online bill pay option whenever possible! Since I do not balance my checkbook, I just try to ensure my checking account always has enough “cushion” to cover the checks that I have written recently. This is definitely not a great habit as it can lead to overdraws and penalties if one is not careful or if you forget about a check that was written. But for the most part, it works for me!” – Bryn
“I don’t balance my checkbook the old fashioned way, but I do check my account pretty regularly. My husband and I each look over our online transactions at least twice a week to make sure that the amounts and charges look accurate. We don’t compare receipts to posted amounts, but just make sure everything looks inline with what we know we’ve charged. To be honest, we could be a bit more diligent, but what we do works for us. I rarely write checks anymore, so when I do it’s easy to just quickly check that the amounts look correct since there are only 3 or 4 checks coming through each month.” – Michelle
“I use a checkbook app to keep track of all my purchases.” – Jessica C.
“I have not balanced my checkbook in years due to only writing around one to two checks per month. I do look at my credit card statement on a weekly basis for errors, fraud, and subscriptions that I may want to cancel (I tend to sign up for those often due to Hip2Save deals! 😬).” – Collin
“We use checks fairly often because of homeschool field trips, but I never balance my checkbook. I do have a cushion, and I also have my bank set up to send me an alert if my account dips below $200, so I can move money over from savings if needed. I keep track of my spending with my credit union’s app and the Clarity app. Both of those allow me to have a pretty clear daily snapshot of account balances and spending.” – Stacy
Here’s why one team member DOES balance her checkbook:
“I’m old school and always balance my checkbook and reconcile it weekly against my online transactions. I tried doing everything I do on paper in a program like Quicken, but I didn’t like it. I like a pencil in hand and writing things down as I think. It helps me remember and stay on track. I don’t write many actual checks, but I do balance out other transactions. The original checkbooks don’t have enough room, so I keep a notebook with my running totals. In the back of my notebook, I keep my budget and bill due dates even the electronic/automatic ones. All automatic bills I look at the details each month (e.g. electric) to make sure we are staying within budget and the company hasn’t made a mistake. I think it’s too easy to have things taken out of an account and miss important mistakes or billing errors.” – Jennifer
But enough about us! What do you think?