ClearCheckbook Money Management
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ClearCheckbook Knowledge Base

ClearCheckbook Knowledge Base

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Getting Started with ClearCheckbook

The goal of this Knowledge Base page is to give you a better understanding about the terminology and how different elements of the site work together.

Creating your Login

In order to use ClearCheckbook, you'll need to sign up with a unique username and email address. This means the username must not be used by another member and the email address must not already be used in our system. Both the username and the email address need to be unique so we can find your account when you sign in.

If you receive an error related to your username when you try signing up, you might need to try a different username that's more unique. For example, if you tried entering testuser and get an error that it's already in use, you should try making it more unique by adding additional characters such as testuser 1985.

If you receive an error related to your email address, it's possible you had signed up in the past but forgot about your sign in. In that case, you can try the Forgot Password page.

Accounts vs Categories

One question many new customers have when they first get started with ClearCheckbook is what the difference between Accounts and Categories. Here's an easy way to remember the difference between the two:

  • Accounts - These refer to a bank or credit card account. For example, if you have a savings account with Wells Fargo, you would create an account for Wells Fargo.
  • Categories - These refer to income or expense categories which can be used for budgets and reports. Examples of a category would be Groceries or Gas.

Entering Transactions

Having your transactions in ClearCheckbook opens up all of the other tools such as reports and budgets. There are four ways to get your transactions into ClearCheckbook:
  • Manual entry - Save your receipts and manually enter your transactions via the Add Transaction form on the website or mobile apps.
  • Recurring transactions - Set up your recurring payments and deposits and have them automatically added to your transaction register.
  • Import tool - Import transactions from your bank via a QIF, OFX, QFX or CSV file.
  • Bank connections - Connect your bank to ClearCheckbook and have your transactions automatically downloaded on a regular basis.

Printing Your Transactions

There are two options for printing your check register.

1. Simply use your browser's Print function to print the various pages of the transaction register that you need. Printing this way will remove any unnecessary data and leave just the transactions behind.

2. Recommended - Export your transactions to a CSV file and then open and print them from any spreadsheet application such as Excel. To do this, click on Tools at the top of the page and then click on Export Transactions. Use the form to narrow down the transactions you want printed. Once you've downloaded the CSV file, open it and then print it from your computer.

Reconciliaton / Jiving

We have two ways to reconcile your transactions. The first method is called Jiving and the second method is called Zero-Out. You can learn more about each of these reconciliation methods here:

  • Jiving - Jiving is the process of selecting transactions that appear on your bank statement and marking them as Jived. This will update the Jived balance which should match your bank statement. The full tutorial linked above covers in detail the entire process.
  • Zero-Out Reconciliaton - Zero-Out Reconciliation is a tool for ClearCheckbook Premium members that lets you balance an account by entering the ending balance for a statement and selecting the transactions, combined with the starting balance, which should sum to zero.

How our Budgets work

You can set up Budgets for any of your accounts and categories. If you want to create a new budget for an account or category you haven't created yet, you will need to first add it through the Settings Manage Your Accounts or Settings Manage Your Categories pages.

Whenever you add transactions to ClearCheckbook and assign them to an account or category that you've set a budget up for, the amount spent for that budget will update.

Reminders vs Bill Tracker

Reminders / Recurring Transactions and the Bill Tracker have some similarties but they both serve their specific purposes. Both tools are a way for you to track and schedule upcoming transactions with the Bill Tracker having more advanced features for tracking whether bills have been paid or if they're overdue. Here's a breakdown of some of the advantages of both tools:

Reminders and Recurring Transactions

  • Ability schedule recurring withdrawals, deposits or transfers
  • A recurring transaction will always post on the due date unless it's manually posted early

Bill Tracker

  • Only for scheduling and paying recurring bills (withdrawals)
  • Shows whether the bill has been paid, is due soon or is overdue
  • View a payment history for a bill to see how it's changed over time
  • The bill doesn't have to automatically post on the due date
  • The bill tracker can tie into the Reminders tool so the bills are automatically posted on their due date
The Bill Tracker is essentially an extension of the Reminders and Recurring Transactions tool that gives you more features for managing bills.

Backing up your data

The entire ClearCheckbook database is backed up regularly so it can be restored in the event of a catastrophic failure of the system. We offer two methods for you to back up your own transactions for your own purposes:

1. Export Transactions - You can back up your data at any time using the Export Transactions tool. You can export your data to a CSV, QIF, OFX or QFX file which can be saved to your computer.

2. Automatic Backups - You can enable nightly CSV backups to Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or Dropbox.

ClearCheckbook Plans & Pricing

ClearCheckbook is free to sign up and use and we never force you to upgrade to one of our paid memberships. We do offer a few different paid memberships based on the features you want access to.

In addition to the free membership, we offer a Sync Membership, Mobile Premium and a full ClearCheckbook Premium membership.

A full explanation of our different membership levels can be found here: ClearCheckbook Membership Levels.

ClearCheckbook Setup Walkthrough

When you first sign up with ClearCheckbook, you're presented with the option of taking a walkthrough that helps you set up all your accounts, categories, budgets and reminders. This walkthrough can be accessed at any time by clicking on Settings at the top right side of the page, then click on Account Setup Walkthrough under the Miscellaneous Settings header.

You can view the Knowledge Base page about the account setup walkthrough here: Settings Miscellaneous Account Setup Walkthrough.