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Making Cents - Should You Balance a Checkbook?

Apr 29, 2020 | Brian Powers
Making Cents of Finance Part 5

Our technological world is wondrous and essential in streamlining our ever-busying lives.

Today’s technological advances have forced our society to become apathetic and overlook necessary life skills. 


These are statements we often hear on either side of the debate over technology. Both sides make valid points, and we will look into how this topical debate relates to your finances.


Balancing a checkbook is something my dad did every Sunday. I remember being younger and my father patiently waiting for me to finish reading the “Calvin and Hobbes” strip for the umpteenth time before he took that page, laid it out on the dining room table, and proceeded to clean his razor and then balance his checkbook. 


“What’re you doing,” I’d ask.


“Balancing my checkbook,” came the reply. 


“Why? What is that?”


My father would then explain to me that it was how he knew where his money was spent and how. Every penny accounted for. My father, now in his 60s, keeps the same routine. When I ask him why he still does that now, he just shrugs and says, “it’s what I’m used to. For me, just hearing the phrase “balancing a checkbook” invokes a warm nostalgia of moments I never recognized would turn into memories.


Aside from the idyllic reflections, some argue the act of balancing a checkbook still holds a proper place in the world. Points of argument say it’s easier to make sure every penny is accounted for when you compare your records of transactions against your monthly account statement; maybe you forgot to add the time you got gas in a hurry or maybe someone has used your bank card without permission. Balancing your transactions against what the bank shows you can be a great financial failsafe. 


Perhaps you, like many of us, have a tendency to look at your available balance, make a purchase, only to find out a couple of days later the car payment you thought was already taken out of your account hadn’t been and you find yourself in a stressful situation. When physically balancing a checkbook, you may have a better grasp on your overall financial health.


While valid, these points may also be countered with points just as pertinent. Online and mobile banking has advanced far beyond letting you see what you have in your account. You now have the flexibility to view balances and transactions, transfer money between internal and external accounts, set up bill payments, and even deposit physical checks just by taking a photo with your smartphone. 


Our Mobile and Online banking summary page breaks down just some of the features our customers have access to. We also have made available to our customers pages that go over the benefits of our Mobile App and Photo Deposit, and even our fantastic partner app Mobi Money, which allows you to have greater control over your debit card and the way it’s used.


So, you may be asking yourself whether it’s best to balance a physical checkbook or to take advantage of all the great benefits we have at our customers’ fingertips and the answer is simple: it’s up to you. Whichever route makes you most comfortable is always the best option because, at the end of the day, we’re here to make your lives less hectic and stressful.