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Keeping track of money and account balances can difficult especially if you have more than one account. Fortunately, with a checkbook calculator, this ceases to be a problem. A checkbook calculator allows you to efficiently and regularly balance out your checkbook by keeping track of your deposits, withdrawals, income, expenditure, and even budget. This helps you to effectively manage your finances and saves you the embarrassment and credit risk associated with bounced checks and over withdrawals.
Most checkbook calculators can maintain up to 3 accounts at the same time allowing you to stay comprehensively updated on your financial situation. They also come with a wallet that you can use to keep your checks, credit cards, and any other documents that you need for your regular financial transactions.
In addition, a checkbook calculator is easy to operate and light enough to be carried around for everyday use making it one of the most innovative personal finance management tools. Below are some of the best checkbook calculators available today in the market.
How to choose a checkbook calculator
Checkbook calculators can be classified as simple function calculators because they are meant for doing simple and quick calculations. Therefore, they have very limited capabilities. However, that does not mean that any simple function calculator can be used as a checkbook calculator.
Here are some features you should look out for if you are in the market for a good checkbook calculator.
A good checkbook calculator should help you to keep track of several accounts at once. Most in the market have 3 independent memory locations meaning you can easily keep track of up to 3 accounts at the same time. Usually, that includes 1 checking account and 2 charge transactions.
You can also use one of the three memories to keep track of a personal budget or income and expense records. This allows you to stay comprehensively informed on your financial situation. That way you are sure of what you have in your accounts before you start transacting.
Apart from maintaining separate accounts, there are those models that have memory files to store the transactions and some can save up to 20 entries. This may come in handy especially when you want to keep track of your transaction history.
Most calculators are powered by built-in lithium batteries. And while these batteries can last for very long, at some point they will run out of power. You do not want this to happen when you are using it. It is therefore recommended that you get a dual powered checkbook calculator that uses both solar and battery power. This assures you that you can use it anywhere and at any time.
The solar functionality works when there is light while the battery backup helps when there is low or no sunlight. Most dual-powered calculators switch from solar to battery power automatically when there is a change in lighting. Dual powered calculators usually have a small solar panel at the top and so you can use this to identify one. You can also check the packaging if you are not sure.
Checkbook calculators are usually attached to a wallet where you can store your checkbooks, checks, receipts, credit cards, and other documents. The wallets are made of different materials such as plastic, vinyl, leather, or leatherette. Leather wallets are more durable and stylish compared to the rest but they are also slightly more expensive. Plastic and vinyl are also sturdy but cheaper than leather. At the end of the day, ensure the wallet is sturdy enough to hold your checkbook and keep your documents intact and safe.
The wallet is also important because it acts as a case to protect the calculator from drops or damage when in your purse or bag. It also keeps the calculator keyboard clean. In case you want to buy the calculator separately without a wallet, then go for one with a hinged flap so that you can easily insert it into any standard checkbook cover. Alternatively, you can use Velcro pieces to attach it to a cover. Also, some come with hook and loop fasteners that you can use to attach to a wallet but this method of attaching adds too much thickness making the wallet look bulky. The wallet or cover should also have a slot for a pen.
Security and Protection
Information on financial transactions is sensitive and should therefore be treated with a lot of confidentiality. It should not be accessible to anyone without your authorization or knowledge because it may be abused or it may lead to fraud. And since the checkbook calculators can store your data, you should get one with security mechanisms to protect this sensitive information.
Some calculators especially the more expensive ones have a lock-mode that allows you to add a password key to protect your information. So if the security of your financial information is paramount to you, then consider getting a checkbook calculator with lock-key capability.
This is another feature worth considering especially if you are particular about dating your financial records and transactions. However, it is not a standard feature in all checkbook calculators so check on the packaging or inquire from the vendor or manufacturer to find out. Those that have this feature usually display the date and the time only, while the more advanced ones even have a calendar.
Review of the best checkbook calculators
1. Datexx DB-403 3-Memory Checkbook Calculator
Datexx is one of the most respected calculator manufacturers in the world. And when it comes to checkbook calculators it doesn’t get better than the Datexx DB 403. This model has several outstanding features that make it perfectly suited for a checkbook. Among other things, this calculator has been designed to keep a record of your income and expenses as well as keep track of three accounts at the same time.
This is important for anyone who finds it hard to keep a proper track record of their finances and expenditure. Furthermore, this calculator has a provision where you can specify your budget and it will help you to operate within your range. And if you do not want it to be accessed by anyone, you can activate the lock mode and add a password to keep your information safe.
Also, you do not have to worry about running out of battery. The Datexx DB-403 is solar-powered meaning you can go anywhere with it and it will still be functional as long as sunlight is available. It also has lithium batteries for back-up.
It is attached to the checkbook using a black leatherette wallet. The material of the wallet is soft but sturdy and has a provision to keep your receipts, cards, checks, and other personal cards. It is not bulky and weighs just a mere 0.29 pounds. It is also made of durable material and will serve you for quite a long time.
- Built-in lithium battery for back up
- Manages 3 accounts
- Password protection
- Owner’s manual not comprehensive enough
- No time or calendar function
2. Datexx DB-413 Checkbook Calculator
The DB – 413 is another masterpiece from Datexx. It has special features that have been designed with the user in mind. It also has new features and updates to keep up with new trends. In addition to helping you keep tabs on your income and expenditure, it also has a time and calendar function to log the date and time when the records were made. Also, it can help you manage up to three accounts simultaneously.
This calculator will simplify your process of keeping records because it allows you to preset and store some useful features such as the tax rate and tax function. You can retrieve this information whenever you need it. The entries for your transactions have also been simplified making it very easy to use. The features can be easily understood by anyone and so you do need expert help to use it. But in case you’re not sure of what to do, there is an owner’s manual that is provided by the manufacturer for reference purposes.
This calculator comes with a vinyl wallet to keep your credit cards, receipts, and other documents. It is also very compact and light and so you can carry it around with ease. You can easily replace the batteries once they run out of power.
- Time, date, and calendar function
- Monitors 3 accounts
- Tracks back 20 entries
- Built-in sales tax checker
- Compact and lightweight
- Checkbook duplicate check protector not connected
- The calculator slips out of the folder easily
3. Datexx Battery Powered Checkbook Calculator
Although it is not as advanced as the others, this Datexx calculator can still perform the basic functions of a checkbook calculator. Like the rest, it can help you to manage up to three accounts simultaneously. You can use it to track your finances, expense, incomes, and even budget. It also has its own internal memory to store all records in this checkbook calculator and retrieve them effortlessly. It also has a special low balance function that triggers an alarm to alert you when you are running overbalances.
It also has a date display to allow you to date your records appropriately. The design is compact and light enough to be carried around comfortably. It also comes with a beautiful folded cover with a wallet for you to keep the checkbook, credit cards, and other personal things that you need to carry with you regularly.
It is very user-friendly but in case you encounter any difficulty when using it, you can refer to the user manual that is attached by the manufacturer. It is lowly-priced compared to the other models by Datexx and so if you want a checkbook calculator on a budget, then you can for this one.
- Low balance function
- Alarm alert system
- Tracks up to 3 accounts
- Date display
- No calendar function
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do you set the date and time for checkbook calculators?
For those models with the date and time function, you can adjust the settings by long pressing the % key for at least 3 seconds then key in the month, day, year, and then the hour and minute in that order. After that, press the + key followed by the = key to set.
- How do remove an erroneous entry without resetting the calculator?
To remove an erroneous entry, reverse it within that same account. This will depend on where you are in the entry order. Pressing the C/Ce button will help you correct your mistake without affecting previous entries and balances.
- Do the calculators have floating decimals or do I have to set it myself?
The decimal is automatically activated in most models. This is indicated using the letters ‘AM’ (AutoMoney) that appear automatically on the screen when you turn on the calculator. It is defaulted to 2 decimal points. However, you can use the A/F key to turn it off in case you want to enter it manually.
- Is it possible to attach the calculator to a different wallet/cover?
Yes. You do not have to stick with the one that came with the calculator. However, you need to measure the dimensions of the calculator itself to ensure that the wallet you want to use is larger so the calculator can fit well. Also, look at how the calculator is attached to the wallet. If it’s done using an adhesive, you might need to find something similar to attach the calculator to another wallet.
Best Checkbook Calculator Conclusion
A checkbook calculator is a perfect solution when it comes to managing your personal finances. While the basic features and functions are the same for all of them, some have more advanced features that allow you to do more than just balance your checkbook. For instance, there are those that provide a time and calendar functionality to log your transactions while others have a provision that allows you to save the records of your transactions for future retrieval.
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