Finance management pro-grams may track personal expenses, but a relatively small percentage of all banked consumers actually own personal finance management (PFM) software, and, of these consumers, few actually spend the time regularly inputting their expenditure data. What if banks could produce monthly statements that tracked expenses by category, indicating how much a household spends on food or clothing?

IBM Corp. answers this question with its recently launched Smart Check, an OnTRACK Management Systems tool that IBM has licensed to help banks' assist their customers with monitoring personal expenses. With Smart Check, purchases are grouped by categories such as home maintenance, groceries, or utilities. The categories are listed on customer checks. They write their checks as usual, and then mark an "X" on one of 21 categories printed on the left side of the item.

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