Post # 1
Darling Husband handles all of our banking. I have the luxury of being able to take the check book or credit card and spend without having to make any entries into our account registers. However, I do know how to do it, and in my previous marriages, I was the one responsible for making sure everything was paid and the bank accounts were balanced.
The reason I’m asking is because I sell Avon, and one of my customers paid with a check. Because Darling Husband and I were in the process of changing banks and setting up a special account for my Avon business, I held the check for a few weeks until everything was set up–I also held the cash payments I received.
Well, when I deposited the check, it bounced. I contacted my customer, and explained her check bounced and told her I needed the money in cash and also the fee that the bank charged me. She responded that she though I had cashed that check, since it had been a few weeks, and that she had closed the account.
I didn’t say anything to her, but my first reaction was, “Who closes their bank accounts without reconciling their check book to make sure there aren’t any outstand checks?” We certainly didn’t when we changed banks, we waited until we knew everything was cleared and kept enough money in those accounts to cover any expenses we had coming out of those accounts.
So…this got me wondering… Is this normal? Do people reconcile their accounts on a regular basis or do they just let things float with the idea that they don’t have to worry.
Post # 3
We keep track with online banking and we also have overdraft protection with our savings. At one point I was considering closing our account and switching banks and in that case you have to make 100% sure you have no outstanding checks, etc. That’s why you have to record all checks so you know what you’ve written out. When a check cashes I don’t check it off in the register (I’m bad at that) but I also have all online documentation and I write very few checks. The bottom line for me is that if I wrote a check and it cashed a few weeks later, I’d think nothing of it. But if I was considering closing an account, how could you not in a detailed way balance and organize your finances?
Post # 4
I have never reconciled my bank accounts. I don’t even think I would know where to start (even though I did this at a job for hundreds of transactions).
I also rarely write cheques, even with the wedding coming up I have been doing email transfers for some vendors.
Post # 5
I don’t think I’ve ever reconciled my checking account and this is coming from a previous banker and someone who currently works in accounting. We’re very diligent with our online banking and we always have a general idea of how much money we have. We have alerts set up to email us if/when the account drops below a few hundred so that we can easily transfer between the other accounts. It also helps that we hardly ever write any checks. Pretty much just rent and the occasional pampered chef order are paid by check so it’s easy enough to keep track of those.
Post # 6
I just check in with online banking, I have never balanced a checkbook in my life. For me, it;s better that way. I have never had an overdraft either…
Post # 7
I use online banking and record transactions in a finance software daily. I don’t like waiting until the end of the month to reconcile.
Edited: I rarely write checks but we have a lot of auto bill payments and I have to keep track of my credit card transactions too.
Post # 8
I don’t reconcile the accounts, but I keep track of them with online banking. When we write cheques, which is rarely, we record it in the chequebook and make sure there is that extra money there until it clears.
I would never close an account without making sure all the cheques I had written cleared.
Post # 9
I used to do it monthly, but since I hardly ever pay for anything with a check, I really don’t ever reconcile anything. My equivalent is checking on my transactions to make sure everything looks right and is within budget, which is really not the same.
Post # 10
I believe there is an unspoken courtesy involving checks that they be cashed promptly, just like wedding checks received as gifts ( unless of course the check is post-dated-or you have received specific instructions ).
She probably did not assume the check would be held and went on about her business.
We use online banking to very closely monitor accounts and do make copies of checks and things too as back up. I think its a generational thing 🙂
Post # 11
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
Since I rarely write checks except for rent, I have not balanced my checkbook in probably 10 years. I write so few that I can keep track of them and I always order checks with carbon copy paper between the checks so that I can look up an amount if I know a check is still out. I find it infuriating when people do not promptly cash a check.
Post # 12
I, too, rarely write checks. I used to be really good about balancing my checkbook, but I check my account online for big stuff. Otherwise, I know approximately how much is in my account and spend wisely.
Post # 13
I know people who wait until they see that checks are deposited before marking it into their ledger. People have different methods.
As a rule of thumb, I’ve always known it that if you get a check, it should be deposited/cashed within a week. If you know you’ll be waiting, then the customer should be told ahead of time.
Anyway, I don’t do online bill pay for anything (only car insurance and electric, since I get discounts for doing so), so I pay credit card bills and car payments by check via mail (I’ve had so many problems with online bill pay, it’s not even funny). So, I balance my checkbook whenever I pay my bills, use my debit card (rarely), get a bank statement in the mail, deposit or withdrawal money, etc. I do it whenever I need to. There’s no set time or how often, so I voted “other.” I hate online banking; I’m just old-fashioned with pencil and paper.
Post # 14
I love online banking. It’s my little safe haven when I start stressing about money. I am constantly up to date with what’s in my account, pending, withdrawn. I’ve never overdrafted. I only have checks for rent purposes so I don’t see a need to balance a checkbook.
Post # 15
I’m really surprised by how many people don’t reconcile their accounts to their bank statements. We reconcile everything–savings, checking, credit cards, investments–everything.
Normally, I would cash the checks right away.
However, if a check is written, the person who wrote it is responsible for making sure there is money in there to cover a check for a year. After a year, it is considered a “stale” check and the banks will not cash it. If they don’t make sure there is money in their account to cover a check until the check clears, it is the same as writing a bad check which is illegal, it doesn’t matter if there was money in there to cover the check on the day it was written… There as to be money to cover it on the day it is cashed.
Post # 16
I reconcile about weekly only because I work at the bank/credit union. So just about every Monday I spend some time working on my checkbook.