The wars of the financial battle field are often played out in our checking accounts. Its balance can soar suggesting halcyon days are here or to come or it can plummet suggesting doom. With so much at stake, it may be challenging to sex up the checking account. But, Sir Jolly, is nothing sacred? to which I’d reply, Of course, beer and squirrels. Don’t be silly.
In a marriage, if one prefers to avoid unpleasant scenes, the checking account(s) must be tidy. Not long after our move to Houston in 1998, balancing the checkbook was put into my charge. To the penny! became a weekly declaration in which I took great pride and honor. I imagine Tammy felt intense relief with each declaration since she was the one writing out all the checks. Since that time, the checking has seen developments, none so profound as automation and a changing of the guard.
I acquired so many guitar students in the spring semester of 2013 that Tammy offered to take charge of balancing in addition to her general vigilance over the account. Reluctantly, I surrendered my long held post and hoped for the best.
The New Check Boss
One could look back an delude themselves that it was all To the penny! and Perfecto! from the get go. But this position requires years of study and diligence just to attain proficiency let alone style. Being the numbers whiz that Lady Hoombah is, style came quickly, but not without a few early lapses in subtraction skills. Still, nothing compared to my mathematical shortcomings. So magnificent were her numeric powers that she believed she could get away with waiting several weeks or, perish the thought, a month to balance.
A recent checking fiasco had me pondering our system. There was gnashing of teeth, a huge hissy fit, random animal howls and growls, fist shaking to the skies, and finally rational discourse over what must be done. It ought to be noted that I am talking about myself here. Tammy simply carried on with life.
At about the same time, significant innovations in memory enhancement were taking place in the Hoombah House. I had begun to use Outlook Calendar to remind myself of important business such as backing up our computers, checking my community college email accounts, airing up the car tires, and inventing a new way to use the term snickersnee-snackersnee once a month.
A physical calendar had been, and still is, used since 1998 for such items. Imagine using a calendar to remind one’s self of a commitment! A commitment such as a freakin’ guitar lesson!!! What if I turned this powerful tool on our finances? Everything else was already automated, so balancing was all for which we’d need a reminder.
Learning the New Check Boss
At one point or another, I recalled that Tammy asked for a reminder to balance. How conveniently elegant! After poking around in Outlook for a bit, I discovered one could invite an attendee to an appointment, so that is precisely what I did. I was no longer attending checkbook balancing appointments, but that is beside the point. Outsourcing is a thing these days anyhow, isn’t it?
Tammy’s first reply to an invitation was Tammy Renzi has “Declined” this invitation. The hell she has, thought I. I’ll not be sassed like this! The next week, I was taunted by Tammy Renzi has replied “Maybe” to this invitation. Indeed, I accepted this as part of the skylarking. On the third attempt, and who knows why the third time is better than any other, I got the nod and it read Tammy Renzi has accepted this invitation.
Then with Tammy’s typical sweetness, she added, Did it yesterday, love!!! To the penny!
How is the checking handled in your home? Have you one of those newfangled systems? Are you old school? Do you share checking responsibilities with someone? Please share your thoughts in comments.