I recently – just today, actually – learned something quite valuable. Apparently, NOT spending money has a positive effect on your checking account. I know! Who knew?
I approached Quicken with a certain amount of trepidation this morning, since I haven’t balanced the checkbook since 12/19. I mean, what was the point? After paying all the bills for the second half of the month, and after paying for Christmas, there was like, $2 left over. So after issuing the “We Are Spending No Money From Now Until Payday” edict (and thank GAWD we’d already stocked up on booze), I refused to think about it again until the next time we got paid.
That happened on 12/31. Due to the magic of automatic deposits and auto bill payments, I didn’t have to look at the accounts again until today. My anxiety spiked, as it always does (regardless of if there is due cause or not), as I opened Quicken and logged into my on-line banking center.
The first positive thing that caught my eye was that we somehow managed to NOT go into our overdraft before our paychecks hit. That was my goal, of course, but it was still a nice feeling to know that we’d succeeded in at least that much.
The second positive thing that I discovered while I was balancing the checkbook was that I’d managed to record all but two transactions in Quicken as they occurred. Usually I don’t keep up on recording stuff and just catch what I missed as I balance the checkbook (a bi-monthly occurrence). I’m trying to be better about that so that, 1) I don’t have as much to do when I balance the checkbook; and 2) I can have an accurate assessment of the account balances throughout the month without having to actually log into the account on-line. So, when I did log in today, I found that I actually had as much money as I thought I had. Those two numbers didn’t always jive, in the past.
Finally, I set about to paying the bills and anticipating expenses for the remainder of the month. And discovered the third and most positive thing of all – we’ll have some money left over at the end of this month AFTER all the bills are paid.
Holy crap on a cracker! How’s that for starting the new year off right?