Keys to keeping track

If your goal is to control the money you have, here are the five steps to get you there.

Several receiptsSave your receipts
Every time you make a transaction using an ATM card, debit card, or check, save the receipt you receive and record the information in your register.

A checking account registerRecord transactions
Use your transaction register to add deposits, subtract withdrawals, and track your current balance. Remember: some transactions may not have been processed by your bank yet!

Check stamped Avoid over-spending
Keeping track of your account balance will help you avoid spending more than you have in your checking account.  This can help you avoid having your debit card transactions declined or having your other transactions paid into overdraft or returned unpaid by the bank.

A bank statementReview statements
Each month, the bank will send you a statement. It lists your balance at the beginning and end of the statement month, and all transactions that the bank has processed during the statement month.

Compare with bank
A close up of a hand writing in a checking account register and a calculator.Every month, review your statement along with your register and your receipts to make sure that your records and the bank’s records agree. This is called reconciling, or balancing, your account.

Click the Next button for a closer look at how to use your transaction register.