Three Reasons I Need to Reconcile my Checking Account Every Day

A Straight Talk on Debt

A Straight Talk on Debt gives you the real deal on debt, straight from our employees and personal finance experts. Learn more about debt relief plans and how to be financially fit.

Three Reasons I Need to Reconcile my Checking Account Every Day

Rate This

A disturbing trend has been taking shape in my home. It could have gone on for quite a while without noticing if my daughter hadn't asked a very simple question just about a week ago.

"Dad, we haven't paid for Netflix for a while, have we?"

We had given our two kids each a free month subscription of Netflix for Christmas last year. When we signed up we also got a month free as part of a holiday promotion. We told our kids that after three months were over, they could decide whether they wanted to keep it or not. 

But if they kept it, they would have to split the monthly $6.95 subscription fee.

She was right; I had not collected their payment since the end of the school year in the spring. My wife and I been in the habit of looking at and reconciling our checking account each morning.

Talking about our finances each morning kept us on the same financial page.

Somewhere during the summer our morning financial checks over coffee and breakfast disappeared, and so did our ability to stay on top of our finances. I realized that I was now reconciling our checking account about once every 8 to 14 days. 

This lapse of financial discipline has caused several issues:

  1. We Didn't Know How Much Money We Had: We used to be able to easily see our funds available by simply opening my checking account spreadsheet and adding one or two transactions.  Now it usually takes 30-45 minutes to reconcile everything before I have a clear answer.  It's hard to make good spending decisions when you don't know how much money we really have.
  2. We Began Overspending Again : When we discussed our spending every day we would know each and every day what purchases were made, and if we were about to exhaust our budgeted amount.   But because we weren't closely monitoring our balance, we also would lose track of extra purchases we made and end up over budget.
  3. We Couldn't Correct Problem Spending: You can't change what you don't track.  If I only reconcile the checking account every 8-14 days, I end up spending all my available time just bringing my records up to date.  That left no time to analyze our spending and identify areas we were spending more than we would like.  For example, when I finally took the time to peel back the covers and look at our spending for a two week period, I saw that I was visiting the grocery store almost every day after work.  The amount we were spending on our main grocery shopping trip was within budget, but when I added in all the secondary trips we were at almost double what we wanted to spend.

Since we completed our debt consolidation plan we luckily have extra funds available and our situation didn't reach a level of putting anything on credit, or getting an overdraft charge.

But we were clearly NOT being wise with our money.

We started up our old routine again of reconciling the checkbook each morning over coffee and breakfast.  It came back easily, and after a few days it felt like we had never stopped.

It feels exhilarating to know we're on the same page with our finances at all times again. Our bank account balance isn't complaining either, and I just collected October's Netflix payment from our kids.

Have you ever fallen out of a good financial routine? How did you get it started again?

Related Links:

Gradually Improving Our Finances over Morning Coffee

The Budget; let's keep it real

Organizing Your Finances Doesn't Have to be Complicated

Travis Pizel, debt management plan customer with leading provider of debt relief, CareOne Services, Inc. Travis Pizel

Travis is a contributing writer for the A Straight Talk on Debt blog. He is also a very active member of the CareOne community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Travis candidly shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family in Minnesota. You can also read more from Travis on the Enemy of Debt blog, where he is a featured blogger. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

You can follow Travis on Twitter @DebtChronicles

Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment
  • * Please enter your name
  • * Please enter a comment
  • Share
  • I am wondering what kind of spread sheet you use for your checking account? I used to use Microsoft Money. that isn't being made anymore. Quicken is very expensive. I am trying to find one that is not too difficult to use, and inexpensive or free.


    Gladys Anderson

  • Losing sleep over unfinished essays but can't afford the assistance of costly essay writers? Wondering whether the online service providers will write my essay cheap in UK? Facing a deadline for finishing the essay? Well, your anxieties end here. We have with us a team of essay writing services for UK students who can solve all your writing issues so that you score high grades in your essay assignment. They will deliver the completed essay to you well before the deadline. With decades of experience in helping students, this team of professional essay typers

  • How educational your post is! I really love your professional tips, Travis. Share more smart and clever recommendations with us!

  • Your blogs are amazing and I am glad to read them. Thanks for sharing the tips and samples of our assignments. They are useful in knowing the key points that can increase the value of an assignment. And a special thanks to the My Assignment Help Australia for helping the students 24/7. You can email us at cs@Myassignmenthelpau.Com or Phone Number: +61-2-8005-8227

  • Students Assignment Help serves the best make my assignment services by the professional and high qualified assignment writers from the universities of UK, Singapore, and USA. We offer the reliable assignment writing services to the students.

  • AllAssignmentHelp provides best online assignment help to Australian students by its top class professionals with highly effective data.

  • Are you demanding for Assignment Help? Turn towards Myassignmenthelp and stay tension free. We have an expert team of writers that work for students demands and carry out all the task appropriately.

  • Your blogs are amazing and I am glad to read them. Thanks for sharing the tips and samples of our assignments.

  • Students Assignment Help is providing make my assignment services to all students from around the world. Our expert writers will help you in writing assignments at a low price.

  • Students Assignment Help provides the best accounting assignment help services to the students. We are having the expert writers in the industry and also provide the excellent quality assignment writing services to the students from all over the world.

  • A lot of valuable information can be derived from the post.  Certainly, this compelling post will encourage readers to choose Assignment Help Australia services. You can email us at

  • 3000+ Statistics Assignment Specialists of are skilled and qualified to provide dissertation help. Our Statistics Assignment expert writer is skilled in handling any Statistics Assignment. They are known to complete the project assigned within the scheduled time frame.

  • Thanks so much for writing all of the excellent information, very interesting topic to learn. Thank you very much and keep sharing.

  • I highly appreciate your keen interest. Make your life hassle-free and smooth by leveraging all Assignment Help service of GoAssignmentHelp portal. Here at GoAssignmentHelp, You can ask for do my assignments online at best available & affordable prices.

  • To become an expert sales coordinator, high grades in your sales management course are mandatory. If you’re burdened with assignments, rely on the academic writing help service providers online. They will help you out. Apart from grades, you’ll also need unbeatable skills in client management, proficiency in query software, CRM and database user interface.

    Academic essay writing has been a parameter to judge the merits of the students for a long time. The present time is none the less. In fact, as time is passing by, students are having more and more requirements to write an essay that will be graded. Hence seeking do my essay help is on the rise and it will be.

Page 1 of 21 (306 items) 12345»
Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment
  • * Please enter your name
  • * Please enter a comment
  • Share