HTML tutorials for the rest of us...

Simple Checkbook v2.1 by Joe Barta

Version 2.1 fixes the "macro problem" in 2.0. When some users would open checkbook.xls they were told that it contained macros and that macros might contain viruses. Well, there were no actual macros in 2.0, but Excel thought there was. I had experimented with a macro, then deleted it. Apparently deleting the macro didn't exactly delete it... it just made it empty... an empty macro... you get the idea. Anyhow, 2.1 fixes this. Anyone using version 2.0 can fix theirs as well. This is what I used...
(If that's unavailable, a copy is here)

Simple Checkbook is just that... a simple checkbook. In function it is exactly like your little paper checkbook register - except you don't have to do the math and it makes reconciliation a breeze. It's laid out like a regular checkbook and you fill it in like a regular checkbook. It's just a simple spreadsheet and I've included an MS Excel version (.xls), an MS Works version (.wks) and a Sun Star Office version (.sdc).

Requirements: This is not a standalone program. You'll need Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Works or Star Office to use it.


Cost: Nothing. It's free. Have a ball. Drop me a line if you use it and like it.

What it is not... It won't go online and retrieve bank statements. It won't do automatic payments. It won't remind you to pay the electric bill. It won't chart or graph. It won't print checks. It won't budget and supposedly solve all your financial woes. It won't merge with anything. It won't make coffee and it won't take out the trash. There are enough w´┐Żnderprograms out there for all that. This is just a "Simple Checkbook". There's beauty in simplicity right?

What it is...

Simple Checkbook screenshot

The date column is such that all you need to enter is the month & date (1/22). As soon as you tab to the next cell, the current year will be filled in automatically. With the Excel version you can right click and choose "Pick from list..." in the transaction column. This will display a listing of all values previously entered in that column. This will save you a little typing.

There is room for roughly 2000 entries. That's the equivalent of 50 packs of standard checks.

Suggestions for use. Let's suppose you'll use the Excel version (.xls). Copy Checkbook.xls. Rename that copy to whatever you wish, say My Account.xls. If you have another account, again copy Checkbook.xls. Rename that copy to say, My Other Account.xls.

You can also use Simple Checkbook for savings accounts.

Be sure to back up your data regularly. Make sure your spreadsheet program is configured to save a backup copy of your data. In addition, it is good practice to regularly save copies of your checkbooks to a floppy, CD, zip drive, tape drive or another hard drive. Also, keep in mind that if your computer crashes or the power goes off while you are editing your checkbook, some data may be lost (even if you save frequently). A recent backup copy will save you grief.

More on reconciling your checkbook...
If you've never reconciled a checkbook before then these notes may be useful to you. In short, a checkbook is "reconciled" when outstanding checks are subtracted from the bank balance and the result is compared to your checkbook balance. If that result is zero then all items are accurate and accounted for and the checking account is "reconciled".
Reconciling your account is simple...
First, enter your account balance according to your bank statement in cell H3.
Second, go through your bank statement line by line and enter an "x" in column B for each item accounted for in your bank statement.
Hopefully everything balances and cell H4 is 0.00. If it is not, go through deposits, credits, check amounts and withdrawls looking for the error.
While reconciling your checkbook on a regular (monthly) basis is a wonderful thing, this Simple Checkbook will operate just fine if you never reconcile it. You'll just have to hope that you haven't made a mistake or forgotten to enter a check ;-)

New in version 2.0 is a reconcile ability. You reconcile it much like you would an ordinary checkbook, except it does all the math for you. When you get your bank statement, enter the balance according to the statement in cell H3. Next mark an x for each posted item. If all is well, your account should reconcile. If not... well, you know the drill.

Important note: When reconciling, only use an "x" in column B. It can be upper or lower case, but it must be an x. Any other letter won't register properly.

To the right of the checkbook grid is the reconciliation data. This is simply a few columns I use to help reconcile the checkbook. You can ignore it.

OAQ (Occasionally Asked Questions)