How to Track Debit Card Purchases

Balancing your checkbook is a great way to manage your debit card transactions.

Debit cards offer you the convenience of making an instant purchase or using your card as a major credit card. When you use your card as credit, the purchase can take up to several days appear on your statement. This can make your account look as if it has more money in it than is truly available. Track your debit card purchases to avoid overdrawing your account and incurring unnecessary bank fees. You can use a basic spreadsheet software or checkbook ledger to track your purchases.

Step 1

Open your spreadsheet software on your computer. Click "New from template." A window will appear with common spreadsheet categories such as Budget and Invoice. Type "Account Register" or "Checkbook Register" into the search bar and click "OK." Select a template from the list of available templates. Although templates come standard in most spreadsheet software, the styles of each template will vary.

Step 2

Select a register inclusive of the date, purchase description, and a credit and debit column. The register you choose should also have a column to indicate whether the purchase has posted to your account.

Step 3

Use receipts from your debit card purchases to enter transactions into the register. If you are missing receipts, use your bank statement to complete the register. Your most recent transactions may have to be entered from memory if they are also not available on your statement.

Checkbook Ledger

Step 1

Open your checkbook ledger to the first page of the booklet. Write the account number of the debit card you are tracking in the space provided. You can enter your name or the name of your bank next to "Name:"

Step 2

Turn to the first page of the registry. This page has a series of rows and columns in white and gray.

Step 3

Enter the date of your transaction, a description of the transaction and the amount one of the columns labeled "Deposit/Credit" or "Payment." Write the starting balance on the first line under "Balance." The first column of your ledger is dedicated to entering your check number or a bank transaction code. Transaction codes such as "AP" for automatic payment or "FT" for funds transfer are most relevant for tracking bank account activity, but can be used for some debit card transactions.


Download your debit card statements from your online banking center to track purchases you made during previous months.

Use a pencil when inputting information into your checkbook ledger so that you can easily make changes if you make a mistake.


Begin your register on the date your bank statement begins unless you are at the beginning of your cycle. In this case, begin your register a week before the statement start date. This will help you account for pending debit card purchases in your register and avoid unpleasant surprises.