January 18, 2013

Banking, back in the day

Do you remember when you had to wait a whole month to get your bank statement back, along with your checks, so that you could balance the checkbook?  Now everything is just a click away.

Over Christmas break, Boom and I sat down to go over her expenditures from the first semester, to determine if the amount of money we were giving her for meals and incidentals was appropriate.  We discovered that she had never set up online banking.  Even though she gets her statements electronically she wasn't authorized for any other functions.  Instead of downloading four months of expenses into Excel or Quicken, we got to do it the old fashioned way, with paper, pencil, and an adding machine.

I liked the lesson in that.  At the same time, I rather love that I can deposit checks from my scanner.  And I can move money from account to account, from bank to bank, and from bank to debtor, with a few clicks.  The convenience and time savings of online banking can't be beat, I just don't want to lose the important financial and budgeting lessons that come from doing it the old fashioned way.

Maybe soon the school and Scouts will move into this century - those are the two entities that I write checks to on a regular basis.  Good for record keeping, annoying as hell to me.  The school is notorious for sitting on checks.  I am still waiting for a check from the beginning of December to clear, which is what started this post.  Once upon a time, I would just be getting my December bank statement to go over, and most likely, by the time the next statement rolled around, that check would have cleared.  Instead, I check my account several times a week, balancing my checkbook each time, and that line in my register that doesn't have a little check-mark beside it is driving me nuts.

No comments: