Suggested Intro: If you?ve ever been nailed by a bounced check charge, odds are you?re a little slow when it comes to balancing your account. Not to worry. Money reporter Stacy Johnson has some tips to make it easier…

Voice over 1: Most of us have had checking accounts since we were barely out of high school. So you?d think we?d know by now how to manage them. And yet, many adults…some studies suggest as many as 25%…don’t regularly balance their checking account.

Voice over 2 (DAN: NEW VIDEO: NSF notice, or
Revenues From Bank Fees Up 41% Over Last 4 Years):
Which can be an expensive oversight…and getting more expensive all the time.

Voice over 3: Want to keep ahead of bounced check charges? Then look at your account often. Definitely when it comes in monthly…but also online between statement dates.

Voice over 4: And even if you?re really busy, it will only take a few seconds to look at the top part of your statement where all the monthly activity is summarized. Does it look kosher?

Voice over 5: Then…when you have a little more time, compare what the bank says to what you say by comparing your check register to your statement.

Voice over 6: And if you have a problem, do what it takes to fix it: call your bank immediately. So even if you do mess up every now and then, you?ll keep one bounced check from multiplying like rabbits.

STANDUP: Bottom line? Keeping track of your checking account shouldn?t be hard, and it should be done. But if you find that you still can?t do it, there?s a simple solution. It?s called cash. For Bankrate.com, I?m Kristin Arnold.