UNITED STATES—Am I the only person that still balances his check book? I truly think I am because a recent conversation with a family member made it appear as if I was crazy for doing that? They noted don’t you have a debit card?! I noted yeah, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be keeping track of what I spend every single week. I might be a bit old school, but I keep track of my spending in my notebook. I’m not one of those people who wants to guess or speculate as to what I have in my checking or savings account at any given time.

I should ABSOLUTELY know what is in my account daily if not weekly. The moment you are guessing or thinking or wondering if you have enough money for a purchase, you’ve encountered a serious problem, in my opinion. Guessing is a certified way to have an overdraft fee tacked to your bank account or run into a situation where you are trying to make a purchase and it ends up declined. That is pretty embarrassing America and something you shouldn’t have to endure.

I’ll never forget the time I was at a retailer making a purchase and it would not go through. It wasn’t because I didn’t have the money on my debit card, it was the fact that I had forgotten the PIN on my debit card, which resulted in my card being locked. I had to utilize an alternate form of payment and thankfully I had that option available to me.

There are people who think oh, just go over your finances every six months or once a year. Yeah, that would be a mistake in my opinion. You should be reviewing your expenses and what is being spent monthly if you can, hell, I try to do it weekly because it just keeps you a bit more organized and aware of where your spending is taking place. That is a good assessment because you discover if you’re spending too much on things where you could conserve or save a few bucks in the process.

We all have our guilty pleasures and those things that get us in a bit of trouble here and there and if that is the case, it doesn’t hurt when you realize it. Hey, perhaps I can cut back on those 2-3 cups of specialty coffee each week. That $7 smoothie is money that can be spent towards something else. You can start to realize where you can pay off debt, what your goal(s) are for saving, retirement, vacation planning, college education, the purchase of a new car, a new home or some other gadget or specialty item you’re looking for.

If you’re one of those people who suspect you don’t need to know what you’re spending on a daily or weekly basis, think again. That is a surefire way to ensure the money you do have quickly begins to disappear before you even realize it is gone from your bank account. Know what you’re spending and what you have that way when you’re ready to buy, whether cash, check, credit or debit card, the money is there.