User:Woozle/blog/2009-09-05 0823 Balancing without a paddle

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Balancing without a paddle
2009-09-05 0823

So here's the kind of thing I mean about needing daily balances.

On 9/1, I calculate a balance of $2490.43, which agrees with the online balance on that date.

4 days and 10 transactions later, I get that today's balance should be $1320.16 -- but the bank shows $1007.26. The problem is this: with all the things that will be coming out in the next few days, my balance by early next week will be something like $172.07 -- but that's assuming I actually have $1320.16 right now. If the bank's balance is correct, I'll go negative before that.

And I need to take out $100 for the Farmers' Market this morning. Do I have the money, or should I just be skipping the market this weekend? Too bad, I already ordered $100 worth of chicken from Fickle Creek.

I think I have to assume that the bank's balance is wrong. I've checked every transaction amount against the online list, and can't find any problems -- but all I have is *my* record that their balance was $2490.43 on 9/1, so I can't just go forward from that to show the error; I have to go reconcile against the last statement -- which hasn't arrived yet -- unless I want to go all the way back to 8/1.

Maybe they slipped in another transaction while I wasn't looking, so their balance for 9/1 isn't $2490.43 anymore.



  • 09:47 Bank statements are available online, and the last one was 8/15 -- where my balance agrees with theirs. So we just have to look at a little over 2 weeks -- some 33 transactions.
  • 09:58 Downloaded a CSV of the last month of transactions, plonked it into OpenOffice, ran the balance forward from 8/15 -- and it agrees with the bank's balance ($1007.26). So now I can compare the balance line-by-line and see where the discrepancy pops up. It's after the $2490.43, because it still agrees at that point. That just leaves a dozen or so lines...
  • 10:06 Turned out to be simple enough -- in my haste, I somehow didn't reconcile the last 3 transactions. They were already accounted for in my figuring through to next week, but not in the balance I was comparing to... so I won't go negative, as I suspected.