March 20, 2013

Maybe mattress stuffing is the way to go

I am an old school check register user.  I don't write many checks, but I use the register to document all transactions from debit card purchases, automatic withdrawals and direct deposits.  Old school for new tech, I guess.

Often, as I am writing down a transaction amount at the point of sale, the cashier will make a remark about my diligence.  How else would I know how much money I have?  How else would I catch bank errors, that are all too common, even in these modern times?

Boom, despite my valiant attempts to teach her otherwise, uses the 'surprise me at the end of the month' method of account balancing.  We set a monthly stipend amount for her at the beginning of her first semester of college with the understanding that we would review her spending at semester break and adjust it accordingly.  The optimist in me was hoping she would have some documentation showing that she tracked her spending and was diligent in her record-keeping.  Instead, she printed out copies of her electronic bank statements and I built a spreadsheet to categorize the expenditures.  I suppose when you are somewhat thrifty, have paid-for housing, a $2400 meal plan, and some built-up savings, you can get by with that method.

Yesterday, when the top news story was about the potential plan to skim the bank accounts in Cyprus for a bailout, here in the States, Chase bank had a glitch that caused bank accounts to show a zero balance.  It left me wondering how many of those people had any idea what their account balance should be.

While I am a user of some of the wonderful financial tools the internet provides (I love to deposit checks from photos) I just can't buy in to going all electronic.  While I don't think that what is happening in Cyprus could happen here, I am concerned about the number of people who might be, could be, scammed or robbed because they take little ownership in keeping their financial house in order. 


CenTexTim said...

Don't be to sure. last month an obama appointee of a federal regulatory agency announced they are exploring plans to assert regulatory control over 401(k) accounts 'to protect investors.'

The only thing we need to be protected from is the damn government.

kerrcarto said...

While I don't think that what is happening in Cyprus could happen here

Oh, it will.

Harper said...

I think it happens here as taxes on the front end. It happens as garnishments for government levies. It happens when employers are forced to take your wages and send them to the government on your behalf.

InsomniacSeeker said...

I write down my transactions in my check register as soon as I use my bank card, too. I wish I had my Dad's gift. He never kept a running balance in his check book, but the man could tell you to the penny what the check register balance was.