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Getting your finances under control is not as hard as you may think. All it takes is a quality decision and the implementation of some simple steps.

One area to take charge of is the area of checkbook management. Learning to balance this little book will enable you to see where your money is going.

Take Care Of The Details
To begin, every time you write a check, record the check number, who it was written to, the amount of the check and the date it was written in the appropriate space in your check register.

Many people fall short financially because they underestimate the amount of money they have actually spent and overestimate the amount of money in their checking accounts. This usually results in the vendor and your bank or credit union charging you a Non-Sufficient Funds fee in addition to the amount of the check if your check bounces.

For this reason, you should make a special effort to record each purchase the day you make it, preferably when you write the check.

Each time you make a purchase, be sure to subtract that amount from your last total so that you will not overspend. This is especially important when using a check card. You may want to carry a small calculator with you when you make purchases. You will be surprised at how much more organized you will become when you begin to keep track of your checking account.

At the end of the month, when you receive your bank statement, ensure that each purchase on your statement is recorded in your register. Reconciling your bank account this way will enable you to make sure that each check in your checkbook is accounted for and that your totals match. You will also be able to see exactly how much money you spent that month.

Excuses, Excuses
You may want to use a computer program to help balance your checkbook and maintain a clear record of how much you have spent and where.

Programs such as Quicken® enable you to balance your checkbook, organize your bills, and set up a budget on your computer. Microsoft Excel® is another program that will allow you to organize your finances through the use of spreadsheets.

In addition, try using your checkbook only to pay bills. By sticking to a cash only basis for purchases, you alleviate the tendency to overspend or neglect recording checks in the check register.

It takes a quality decision and corresponding action to tighten up your finances. It is important that you stop making excuses for why your checkbook is out of order.

Sometimes people don't want to hold up the checkout line while they record their purchase. Others don't want the person in line behind them to see their balance. I even know some folks who tell themselves that they aren't good with math and will take care of all the recording at home.

Excuses like these will only get you in trouble and keep your finances in a rut.

By making the proper adjustments in the area of checkbook management, you will not only know exactly where your money is going, but you will most likely come out with more money at the end of each month!

First published in the June 2003 issue of
Changing Your World Magazine
Copyright © Creflo Dollar Ministries All rights reserve.

Author Biography

Creflo A. Dollar
Web site: World Changers Ministries
 
Creflo Dollar is the founder and senior pastor of World Changers Church International (WCCI) in College Park, Georgia; World Changers Church-New York; and a host of fellowship churches throughout the United States and internationally. WCCI also has offices in Australia (serving the Asia-Pacific region), South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and the Ukraine.
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