Greetings blog readers!
It’s been a long time. A reallllly long time, but I said I wanted to continue blogging, and I genuinely do. So, not promising to post every week, or even every other week, but I’m back!
Now, to the story. Lately I’ve become intrigued with saving money. I’ve been reading financial bloggers, and thinking about how I’m going to save for the big things in life, like a house, and eventually retirement.
I created a profile on Mint.com and worked out a budget that allows me to save roughly half of my income. I acquired online credentials to access a social investments account I’ve held for a long time, but never done much with. I figure the best thing for me to do is to move money out of savings accounts (where they do almost nothing), and into accounts that will actually make me some money.
I’d already saved a fair amount of money this year, having worked all sessions of Not Back to School Camp and the Unschool Adventures Writing retreat while not paying for an apartment, and then getting a new job with Philadelphia Yearly Meeting as soon as I returned. I gleefully grabbed the nearest check book and fired off a check for $4,000 to my social investment fund.
Three days later, low and behold, my mint.com profile showed a $4,000 increase in the value of my social investment account. Hooray! Several nights later I remarked to Helen that I was surprised the $4,000 hadn’t yet been deducted from my checking account. I assumed that banks simply take longer than I expected to deduct money from their accounts and moved on.
I was increasingly puzzled when, a full week after the money had appeared in my mutual fund, my checking account was still fully intact. I was actually annoyed, how can I keep track of my finances when my bank can’t keep accurate track of money that left the account a week ago?
My phone rang, Helen calling from work, “Matt can you go take a look at my checkbook?”.
“Why, whats up?”
“Someone wrote check for $4,000 on my account. I’m getting charged an overdraft fee.”
So, I’m an idiot. To be fair, the checkbooks are identical, and were on separate shelves of the same bookshelf, but still I’m an idiot. The thing thats crazy to me is that no one questioned a check with my name in the signature box, being deposited into my account, from her bank account. I can only conclude that no one actually cares whats written in the signature box on checks. And that I owe Helen a $25 overdraft fee. And that I need to mail another check.