How to Budget a Checking Account

Checking accounts are practically indispensable in our everyday lives and are used for everything from buying lunch to paying the mortgage. How you use your checking account determines how far your money can go, so it's important to know how to budget a checking account to keep track of your spending habits, avoid overdraft fees and spend your money wisely.


  1. Image titled Budget a Checking Account Step 1
    Familiarize yourself with your account.
    • Budget a checking account and avoid unforeseen shortages by understanding the specifics of your checking account. Know the minimum balance you're required to keep in the account, the fees charged if your balance drops below that amount and the dates when any other fees will be deducted. Knowing this information will help you keep track of your balance and avoid overdrawing your account.
  2. Image titled Budget a Checking Account Step 2
    Get duplicate checks.
    • Use duplicate-style checks to help you track your expenses and budget your checking account. Duplicate checks include a carbon copy receipt along with the check, giving you documentation of the amount and date of each check you write. This will be useful in balancing your checkbook ledger and tracking your budget.
  3. Image titled Budget a Checking Account Step 3
    Save your receipts.
    • Save receipts for all purchases out of your checking account. This will help you track spending while budgeting your checking account. Having actual receipts will also help you remember to record your expenses.
  4. Image titled Budget a Checking Account Step 4
    Use your checkbook ledger.
    • Your checkbook ledger is a valuable tool in budgeting your checking account, because it helps you itemize every dollar amount that is deposited or debited to or from your account. Record every transaction in your checkbook ledger and keep it somewhere secure but easily accessible.
  5. Image titled Budget a Checking Account Step 5
    Review your statements.
    • Review your checking account statements when they are released to you. Balance the statement's list of transactions against the transactions listed in your checkbook ledger and watch for any double charges or unfamiliar or suspicious transactions. Contact your bank immediately if any irregularities are present on your statement.
  6. Image titled Budget a Checking Account Step 6
    Balance your account regularly.
    • It's important to review your banking history and balance your checking account regularly so you're aware of your spending habits or any suspicious activity. Schedule a time to review your account and balance your transactions at least once a month.
  7. Image titled Budget a Checking Account Step 7
    Keep track of scheduled payments.
    • Be sure to log any transactions that are scheduled to automatically happen, like direct deposit of your paycheck or automatic monthly debits for utility bills. It's important to include these automatic transactions to keep your budget accurate and to ensure there is enough money in your checking account to cover them.


  • Bank statements and used checkbook ledgers contain valuable financial account information, so be sure to shred these items when you throw them away to protect yourself and your money from the threat of identity theft.

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Categories: Banking | Budgeting