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David S. Chang

Finance Blog

Balancing a Checkbook 101

Balancing a Checkbook 101

The idea of using a pen and paper to add and subtract your income vs. expenditures seems a bit outdated. When most think of a checkbook, they think of the past. However, the art of balancing your checkbook is an art still of importance today.

Why should you balance your checkbook?

  • It helps you keep track of your money in real time
  • It helps you avoid overdrafts and cumulative fees.
  • It helps you budget and reach your savings goals.
  • It helps you spot errors, fraud, or overlooked transactions.

Before you can begin balancing, you must first understand what it is you are looking at. The area within the checkbook where transactions are recorded is called the register. At the top of the register are about six columns: Number (the check number), Date (date of transaction), Description (context of purchase), Amount or Debit (sum of the check, withdrawal, or payment), Deposit (amount of deposit), and Balance (the actual amount of money within the account).

5 Steps To Monthly Account Balancing:

  1. Enter transactions, deposits, and withdrawals in your checkbook register every day.
  2. Review and compare your monthly account statement against your checkbook. Mark off the items that match. If any items do not match, begin looking at receipts for mistakes or reach out to the bank for clarification.
  3. If transactions are correctly listed on the account statement but were missed in the register, write it in. If there are things written in the register but not on the statement, subtract it.
  4. While filling in the information, and checking it monthly, you may come across errors. It is vital to double-check everything then. Just like in the game of sudoku, everything must add up for it to work.
  5. The goal of this process is to match your check register with the ending balance of your monthly statement. If the balances match, you are finished!

21st Century Updates:

It is no surprise that most do not use a checkbook, as credit and debit cards become the primary source of spending. Unfortunately, this makes balancing a checkbook or balancing your accounts harder because you have far more different ways of spending money to keep track of other than paper checks. To keep up with digitalization, here are a few different types of transactions to keep track of:

  • Scheduled online payments
  • Automatic withdrawals (such as Netflix)
  • Direct Deposits

David's wealth management firm

WealthBridge Inc.

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About David

David S. Chang is an entrepreneur, wealth manager, keynote speaker, consultant and Chairman/CEO of Chang Holding Company. David is also the editor of The Art of Thinking Smart, a blog and finance column in The Star-Advertiser’s weekly Midweek with a readership of over 400,000 people. He is also proud to serve as an Intelligence Officer in the Hawaii Army National Guard.

A longtime expert in finance, David uses his executive roles in various companies under Chang Holding Company in order to help people achieve their personal financial and business goals throughout all phases of their lives:


WealthBridge Inc.

A wealth management firm (which has become ranked as one of the top in the nation and featured in Forbes)


WealthBridge Private Equity

A private equity and venture capital fund


Care for Life

A private-duty home and senior care company

Other companies under Chang Holding include GreenTech Pacific LLC and Pacific West Import/Export Hawaii.

David S. Chang is the founder of The Art of Thinking SMART, The Art of SMART Money, and The Art of SMART Stocks. He created the Simple 4-Step System to Wealth and Financial Freedom. Supported by over a decade of research and driven by David’s desire to help others excel in all areas of their lives, this step-by-step online training program enables people to take control of their wealth immediately.

Everyone should have a financial plan, regardless of age, income or net worth.

David S. Chang

David has always loved to learn and seek out opportunities to achieve the American Dream– so it comes as no surprise that he has taken numerous continuing education courses in finance, investments, and insurance. He also completed the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) program at The American College.

In 2015 David was chosen as a member of InvestmentNews’ 2015 40 Under 40 list of top young advisers and associated professionals in the financial planning industry. He has been featured in Forbes as one of America’s Select Financial Leaders. In 2013, David S. Chang was selected as 40 Under 40 Military by, 2011 Pacific Edge Young Professional of the Year, 2010 Business Leader of the Year from the Pacific Business News Forty Under 40 and 2011 finalist for The Business Leadership American Savings Bank Business Leader of the Year.

In addition, WealthBridge Inc. was selected as a FIVE-STAR Wealth Manager for the State of Hawaii in 2014 through 2011, representing the top 2% of Wealth Managers statewide. In 2014 through 2012 WealthBridge Inc. was also selected by The National Association of Board Certified Advisory Practices (NABCAP) as a Premier Adviser.