When we think of personal finance, we often consider budgeting or investing, but we do not necessarily think of balancing a checkbook. Maybe it’s because paper checks are less common than they used to be. But there are other ways to keep track of what you use.
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In other words, there are more options than writing your check balances on the back of a checkbook. These days, you can do things digitally instead. Thus, you can actually not keep track of paper checks you have written; instead, you can keep track of all your transactions. That way, you know exactly how much you are spending each month and will help you keep budget.
In this article, we will review how to balance a checkbook digitally and why it is important to do so.
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Tips for managing your budget digitally
Unless you’re still writing paper checks, you do not actually have a checkbook to balance digitally. However, you can balance your budget to ensure that you do not spend too much on a given area. And even if you just manage your digital transactions, many of the same skills apply from balancing a checkbook.
Of course, there is still work involved and things will not always be perfect. Here are some tips for managing your budget digitally with advice from Dani Pascarella, CFP, Founder and CEO of OneEleven Financial Wellness.
Make it a habit
We have more tools than ever to make the process easier, and Pascarella suggests utilizing them. “If you set an alert on your phone at an appropriate time, this process is easy. When you master daily budgeting and have a solid control over your expenses, you can make the habit less frequent, as on a weekly basis. ”
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Change your budgeting narrative
Managing your money can seem like a chore. Maybe you’d rather just worry about it later, but Pascarella says it can go a long way to change your narrative. “If budgeting feels boring and restrictive, you are doing it wrong. It needs to feel empowering. You are the CEO of your own life. You worked hard, made money, and now it’s time to figure out how to spend those dollars in the way that makes you as happy as possible. Changing your budgeting narrative from a negative to an empowering one will motivate you to stick to it. ”
Do not expect perfection
We are all humans. There may be times when you exceed the budget, Pascarella said. “Unfortunately, most budgeting tools leave little room for error. We start the process with the best of intentions, and then we feel disappointed in ourselves when our actual spending does not exactly match our original budget. ”
But even if you exceed the budget, it should not deter you. “So let go of the perfectionist mindset, let some wiggle in your budget and understand that it’s OK when your expenses do not go according to plan.”
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Best digital resources and apps to balance a checkbook
There are more digital resources and apps available than ever before to balance a checkbook and maintain a budget. Some of the best include:
Remember that budgeting and digital checkbook apps are just a tool. And as they say, a tool is only as good as the hands that carry it. The ancient wisdom also applies to budgeting tools, says Dani Pascarella. “All of these budgeting tools can help you create a budget and stick to it. The important thing is to find the tool you actually want to use regularly. ”
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Why it is important to balance a checkbook
Whether you are balancing a checkbook digitally or just keeping track of your transactions, it is important to keep track of things. First, we do not always know where our money is going until we keep track. Once you start tracking all transactions, you may be surprised to find out how much you spend on something that does not add much value to your life. Thus, you can start prioritizing your expenses and work on achieving your financial goals instead.
“Balancing a checkbook is the first step in taking control of your financial situation,” Pascarella said. “It helps you understand where your money is going and what changes you can make to improve your overall quality of life.”
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Last updated: September 15, 2021
This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: How to Balance a Checkbook Digitally – and Why You Should