Nothing about lakorns here, nothing about Thai celebrities, just a personal question about your finances. I been getting the impression lately from some of my co-workers and a few friends that I am abnormal for always balancing my checkbook. In a way, my methods are old-fashion.
I bounce my checkbook to the penny. There is no ifs or buts or any form of procrastination, I just do it. Every time I make a payment or use my debit card, I balance my checkbook. I mark everything down, I know exactly how much I have in my checking account at all times. A trip to Walmart, to Giants Supermarket, to Old Navy, to the Gap, come home, put my purchases away, and start going through the receipts. I have always thought this was a common practice amongst everyone. After speaking with some of my co-workers, apparently, it’s not.
In today’s modern world, we have online banking, we have a technology that does our banking for us, thus a few of my acquaintances do not bother to balance their checkbook. Being a penny or a few dollars off is no big deal. And they wonder why they overdraft on their checking accounts. “I have an idea how much I have,” I heard from someone. “The ATM balance is always right,” said another. Seriously dude?
I remember a former college classmate telling she overdrafted on her checking account because a check she wrote took forever to clear. And I thought what does that have to do with anything, don’t you mark it off once you write the check, cause I do. She gave me a disapproving uncomfortable look and said no, once the check is cleared then she would mark it off. O_o
To me, once you write a check, that amount on that check is no longer yours, you best mark it off before you forget and suffer the consequences of a potential overdraft fee.
More info about my finance habits, like the rest of the world, I don’t write checks often. Writing a check has become an archaic practice, sometimes I do feel weird writing one. I write about 6 checks per year–two for my biannual car insurance payment, 4 for our water bill that comes every 3 months. I don’t carry cash either, I use my debit card only. I do use online banking and I also have a paper checkbook (as you already know) to verify everything and compare.
I just want to know, I can’t be the only one. Do you? Balance your checkbook to the penny always??