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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Money Matters

I've never been one of those who really tried to balance a check book. My whole life it got pretty out of control. I've never been one with bad credit, in fact I've always had to best because I pay my bills with interest when I can.

Four years ago I started using quicken for our finances. It was a simple easy way to input how much we got paid, and schedule bills. It did all the math for me! I loved it. Somehow it too has gotten out of control. We use our debit cards way too much and receipts get entered when we remember. It's now not a simple solution any more, because we again really don't know how much we have in our account.

When I worked at my previous employer's, this wouldn't have been a big deal. My salary was enough to compensate for any minor infraction we'd make in our inputting system. Now, however, I work for straight commission and it's not guaranteed to pay me every two weeks unless I sell something. Some months I may get paid every week, which is great. But then the next I may not get paid at all. It's 2 steps forwards and 15 steps back.

Needless to say we are struggling financially. We live on now, what I made alone last year and our bills haven't shrunk any. My husband never got that when he saw a number on his statement, from the ATM, that it isn't a real number. He didn't get that we had outstanding checks, for bills, that would hit any day. This whole year I've asked him to cut back by not buying lunches at work, or spending little things here or there. IT all adds up.

It took a while for him to really understand that we were in financial strain but it was a little too late. I haven't kept up on the quicken, partly on purpose. mostly out of exhaustion of fighting an uphill battle to see how much we 'really' had in the account, some because I've been out of town so much and couldn't, and part to let it get a little crazy.

Now he's told me he's going to work some extra hours to open a second checking account and transfer all the ACH'ed items to the second account. We're going to start depositing into it instead of the primary. He has asked that we use only cash from now on and not our debit cards.

Hallelujah! All though we're really tapped right now and it's scary....I'm so proud of him for taking the reins and coming up with a wise solution. I'm glad not to have to handle it anymore. And using cash or not buying it is what I wanted him to move toward. I'm glad he came up with it 'as his own idea' vs. my suggesting it. I think you ladies all know what I mean by that last sentence.
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