Today, I had a "Me Likey!" experience.
Ever since I moved to Alabama, I've worked hard to balance my checking account every statement. For some unknown reason, I never could get it right when I lived in NH. It bothered me to no end; I would write out every transaction for 6 months by hand to find the errors, to no avail.
Since we started all over when we moved here, I made sure to get the account balanced from the get-go. Thankfully, I haven't had a problem since moving, and have successfully balanced my checking account to the penny every month.
That's a good feeling!
I owe a lot of it to the accounting software I use, Microsoft Money, and the fact that we hardly use cash. On top of that, Chris is very diligent to keep his debit slips for me to record with. So then, every so often, I go through all the slips and my duplicate checks, and enter all the info into my electronic register. It automatically gives me the total.
I also use it to keep track of what bills are due when. That's a virtual lifesaver.
Then, when my monthly statement comes in, I just match it up with the computer. It comes out right every time.
Well, one day, while I was out yard sale-ing, I picked up a copy of the UPDATED version of MS Money. For a quarter. Hoo-ahhh!
Today, I installed it.
And this new be-fangled version has a VERY nice little upgrade:
It will self-balance my account.
How? you say? Well, all you have to do is log on to your bank account online (anyone out there not checking your current balance at your bank's website? You're the minority!). Then, you can either download a copy of your online statement to Money from the website, or Money will do it for you from the program itself. Of course you have to be online to do this, but most people are these days.
Once the document has been downloaded into the Money program, it will match up the debits and credits already recorded in the program, with the ones that the bank shows. If you forgot to record a specific transaction, you can click a button and Money will automatically insert it into your register. If it can't tell if the bank's record is the same as yours (say, you record it as "Walmart" and the bank records it as "Wal-mart #233"), it will ask you if you want to accept that record as the same thing. Once you click the "accept" button, it is reconciled.
In other words, instead of constantly matching up your online balance with the bank to the account register in Money (by clicking back and forth between pages), the program will now do it for you. Which also means that I don't have to balance a month's worth of transactions when I get my paper statement. Sheesh, I don't even NEED a paper statement anymore! I just download a copy of the bank's records of my account, and Money will do the rest----instant balanced checkbook!
Oh yeah......me likey very much!