The All-Important Checkbook Register

What is a checkbook register

At the heart of it, the money management device known as a traditional checkbook register is simply a piece of paper formatted in such a way for optimally recording all the relevant information originating from a transaction involving a bank account. This process helps balance a bank account for personal budgeting. The reason why it is useful is because between bank statements, account holders need to refrain from withdrawing too much money. Only by knowing how much money is currently in the account can the account holder successfully avoid this problem and all the associated bank penalties.

Where to find one

The easiest place to find a checkbook register is at the front of your checkbook. Most checkbooks issued by the bank come in a little booklet of checks. The first few pages are formatted for recording transactions and serve as a checkbook register. However, one can also get paper versions from two other sources. The first is a third party vendor that sells blank checks for consumer use. These are mostly formatted the same way with the first few pages acting as the transaction register (another name for the same thing). The second is online! Some websites offer single page templates that can be downloaded and printed out for use.

Electronic versions

By electronic, we do not mean the PDF or Excel templates one can find on line but rather specialized electronic devices that act like transaction registers. These devices are also known as checkbook calculators which we cover in another section. They resemble normal calculators and overlap in function but also have an additional set of buttons for entering transaction very specific to personal banking. These transactions include writing checks, using the ATM card as a charge card, and credit card transactions linked to the checking account.

Advantages of using a checkbook register

As we have alluded already, the reason why people want to use a checkbook register is to avoid withdrawing or using too much money. By too much we mean usage that exceeds the amount in the account! When a bank account holder accidentally (or even intentionally) issues a check for money that is not even in the account, it triggers several problems. One of them is the bounced check fee meaning the bank has rejected the check outright and must charge for processing it. The ostensible recipient of the check is also negatively impacted by not receiving payment and can charge a returned check fee. Another problem is an overdraft check - when the bank steps in and covers the amount for you but charges an arm and a leg!

Checkbook register is an accounting device that keeps track of incoming and outgoing funds for a personal account.
Checkbook calculator tracks common checking account transactions such as ATM withdrawals, checks and credit card entries.
Personal Finance Software is more general software that gives an individual many ways to track the flow of personal income and expenses.

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