on the account you wish to track. You can get this from a bank statement, ATM ticket, or by phoning or visiting the bank (which may carry a fee). Write this balance in the box at the top of the page or on the empty first line with a note such as "balance forward."
Regularly recalculate the balance in your checkbook. You can do this for each transaction. Or you can do this less frequently, such as when you sit down to do bills. If you have a history of bounced checks, you should do this at every transaction or every other transaction.
If you find any discrepancies between your numbers and your bank's numbers, figure out where they came from.
Once everything is balanced in your checkbook, you may want to draw double lines under the balanced amount in your check register. That way, the next time you balance your account, you have an idea of the last known correct amount in your register. This helps figure out where an error is in the check register the next time you balance your checkbook.
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