Ruminations of a Red Dirt Hussy

February 22, 2012


I don’t know why it is, but I get my best ideas for blog posts when I’m emailing someone. Maybe by email I mean free writing. And maybe by best I mean only. Oh, well. It’s all about me anyway, now isn’t it?

Something is always awry in my checkbook, which is no doubt why it’s my checkbook and not our checkbook. Like last month the bank said I had about $900 more than my checkbook said I did. Ten days later the bank balance was $1100 to the good. At the beginning of this month I had $800 more in the bank than in the checkbook.

If you think I spend that money, you probably knew me well but maybe not so well lately. For some time now I’ve just ignored the money if I’m in the black, because terrible, awful things can happen if you spend it and then find out you don’t really have it. I’ve never done anything like that, but I think I read about it on the Internet.

I’ve also read that some people balance their checkbooks to the penny every single month.

Of course, that could be one of those, what do you call them, urban myths. Or just a downright lie to make some people feel badly about themselves. Not me. I’m not the kind of person who would believe that. That would be like trying to sell a hide-a-bed on Craig’s List and having a person email you from Arizona offering way more money than you ask for the couch, then sending a cashier’s check accidentally made out for $2500 and telling you to cash it immediately and send—never mind. That would never happen.

So, I never spend that ghost money.  I’ve heard some people’s bank accounts get all messed up because they forget to write down how much they spent. They might be talking to the cashier about the cool nail polish she’s wearing and about how she got it online and you have to polish the nails then put a magnet really close to the nail and it makes this ripple effect. In other words, not paying attention. So, you know. I just don’t want to be one of them.

There I am online, and I see I have all my transactions recorded. So just for fun, I add up my outstanding transactions and subtract that amount from the amount the bank said I should have. Then I subtract something from something else, I don’t know what, and I came up with the same amount as my outstanding checks.

Two numbers, and they’re the same!  I thought I had balanced my checkbook!  It was as if I’d just seen Big Foot! I mean, I’d heard about it, but I’d never really seen it.

Of course, you can probably tell from my description of how I arrived at that conclusion that there is no way in Texas that I had done that. However, lest you pity me for my deficiency, let me just point out that there are advantages to being a financial moron.

  • If you’re married, you never get stuck paying the monthly bills.
  • People don’t ask you to help with their checkbooks.
  • Nobody expects you to calculate a tip.
  • You develop a close relationship with your company’s salary and benefits person due to their having to explain your pay stub to you every much.
  • Best of all, you never get depressed over spending too much money, because you don’t know how much you ought to have anyway.

Well, this month the difference between what the bank says and what my checkbook says is less than $300. Still to the good, though. That’s what counts, right? And if anybody asks me if I have a nest egg for retirement, I can say yes, I do, and if they ask me do I have a good interest rate, I can say yes, I do. A flexible rate.



  1. I love these little glimpses into your world, Carol. I stopped trying to balance my checkbook long ago. I’m fairly certain that I could reconcile something much less complicated, like Israeli/Palestinian relations, but my checkbook is way out of my league. Like you, I also leave the overage in there out of fear.

    For years now, I just round every entry up to the nearest dollar, the assumption being that my account will always have more in it than I show in the register. This is a theory I’ve yet to prove, and it doesn’t take into account any other errors I might make. I don’t ever seem to make the same one twice, so I never get an opportunity to learn from my mistakes. I’m not sure that 35 years of rounding up is a good retirement plan, but it’s the only one I come close to understanding.

    I do think it’s better to be unbalanced rather than openly unmedicated. Also, why is there an advertisement for Johnsonville sausages on your blog?


    Comment by Michelle — February 22, 2012 @ 10:40 pm | Reply

    • Johnsonville Sausages? Where?


      Comment by vadasmaker — February 23, 2012 @ 9:21 pm | Reply

      • Well, I thought from your question that it wouldn’t be there when I went back. I’m technologically ignorant on an inconsistent basis. At the very least, I thought it might be a differenct ad, but nope, you are definitely hawking for Johnsonville. Try going in through the front door like the rest of us instead of as an administrator?


        Comment by Michelle — February 24, 2012 @ 6:57 pm

  2. I thought I was alone in the world and now I find there is a legion of us! Rounders-uppers! And, now, I go online ot see how much money I have in the bank. I used to call them. Sherry and I were on first-name basis immediately.
    “BOK This is Shery,” she said
    “HI, Sher—”
    “Miss Lottie, what ‘s going on this week?” She was smiling; I could hear it.
    It was like having my very own tooth fairy.
    Retirement plan? Stay healthy.


    Comment by lottie — February 23, 2012 @ 8:45 am | Reply

    • There’s a special place reserved for us rounder-uppers in heaven, and all those lovely banking souls who were so kind to us and didn’t make us feel like idiots will be there and we’ll get a chance to do something for them. What, I don’t know, but it will have to do with words and not numbers.


      Comment by Michelle — February 24, 2012 @ 7:04 pm | Reply

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