Thursday, August 26, 2010

Math has never been one of my personal strengths. I eeked through “baby math” in college celebrating I would never have to take another math test for the rest of my life. What I didn’t realize was balancing my bank account every month would be more challenging than any exam in a classroom.

I mark off an hour, get a hot cup of coffee, and do some neck stretches and pray before I sit down with the bank statement. My check register is similar to a diary or personal journal and would make absolutely no sense to anyone but me. I void checks and add back, deduct forgotten debits, draw red arrows to put a draft under a deposit, and subtract the monthly fees I’ve never remembered. Really my only concern is I don’t take out more than is in the bank.

It was so much easier before debit cards. Jim and I have a system now and it works ... most of the time. He tries to remember to put his debit receipts on my desk every day and I have a special spot in my wallet for mine. There are only a few surprises now.

I have only balanced to the penny twice in my life. If I’m $50.00 close to what the bank says, I count that as balanced as long as their balance is better than mine. If it’s less, I write, “banking error” and subtract. I have one friend who would close accounts and start fresh just so he could get a balance straight. I’ve considered it.

Our kids don’t even know what a paper bank statement is. They keep up with everything on their iPhones. I’m sure Droid would do that for me, but how would I keep up with what’s pending? I was so proud of myself when I started paying bills online. I might really have a mess trying to learn another new system. In reality, lurking at the bottom of it, I’m sure, is my fear of change.

So until I take the big leap into the green, paperless, smart phone bank account keeping system, I’ll continue with a wing and a prayer and my calculator.

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