No need to balance your checkbook

Some people still have a use for their check register, but most have chosen the digital route.

TAMPA – Do you balance your checkbook?  Do you even have a checkbook? Either way it might not be as necessary as it once was.

“These days, though, we write far fewer checks. Most transactions post pretty quickly and bank errors are rare.

"We still need to monitor our accounts to spot bogus transactions, keep track of our balances and avoid overdrafts, but the monthly ritual of trying to reconcile a statement to a register is pretty much obsolete,” says financial planner and NerdWallet columnist Liz Weston.

On Facebook, many of you say you absolutely still balance your checkbook. Many say it’s a monthly ritual, but when we polled people in public many said they just don't bother.

“I don’t have a checkbook,” said Lauren Ben Yaaqov.

She says everything is online and automated and she monitors that every day.

Mariana Stavig and Samantha Wojtusiak also don’t write checks and both said they would have no idea what to do with a check register.

For decades you were told balancing your checkbook was a must to keep your finances straight. It was even taught to you in school.

“I think I remember doing it in some sort of economics class in high school,” said Melissa Brinn.

“It is tedious. You have to be organized, keep your receipts and every month go through them and it’s very tedious. After a while you just don’t want to do it anymore,” said Marianne Homsy. She’s since moved to online banking.

“Complicated. Time-consuming. A lot of calculations, you know. Put the calculator by your side and constantly going one-by-one through every item. Not anymore,” Sergio Re told 10News. He’s also moved to online banking.

Being able to monitor your transactions online and the advent of budgeting apps have made the need for a check register obsolete for most. 

Weston suggests monitoring your account but also writing fewer checks because of the personal information included on that single piece of paper.

Stavig says while she doesn’t own a checkbook, she does “balance her account” virtually.

“Oh for sure! I do it online all the time or on my phone. I have an app that I use,” she said.

The same is true for Wojtusiak and her husband.

“Everything is instant on our apps, so we just check that way.”

(© 2016 WTSP)


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