Saturday, August 28, 2010

Working for a living

I am a CPA, but as the cobbler's family has no shoes, I neglect our family's financial planning. That is starting to change, start being the operative word.

We have recently changed our primary bank, gaining some flexibility and better interest rates on car loans, but Ricky has had to do it dragging me along. The new structure involves personal checking and savings accounts, business checking and savings accounts, debit cards and new credit cards with different "reward" programs. It is more than my tiny mind can manage.

For twenty-five years we have run our family with one checking account. We don't have to consult the other before using it, either. And it has worked. All we've done over the years is raise the unspoken limit of how much one of us could spend without consulting the other. It started with $10, living as students, but of course has increased over the years. Long ago we reached the point at which one of us could buy a car without "checking in" first. That's kinda' where we've left least I think so.

We both hate "budgets." Instead, we have developed our own system. I usually make the deposits and keep the operating funds divided between checking and savings. Ricky pays all the bills. Our tasks are so divided, I have never used a debit card.

I assume he will spend everything we have and so I keep as much as possible tucked away. He pretends not to know whether we have enough and spends what he thinks he can justify (knowing that I input all our expenses into Quicken after the fact.) He only knows how much we "have" by checking the balance when he makes a cash withdrawal.

Our system has worked, probably because we're both competitive. Neither of us wants to disappoint the other. With new banking procedures, though, and some other changes Ricky has made in monitoring our long term savings and retirement accounts, we each need to be more involved with both the ins and outs of our finances.

I guess that means we get to be on the same team. I'm rather looking forward to it.

Tomorrow we - Ricky, Kelly, Brian, Wiley (when he can) and I - are starting Dave Ramsey's course on Financial Peace. Lindsay and Eddie are doing the class at a different location. I hope each of us will get some benefit.

I usually dislike structure, i.e. having a plan. But I have never turned down a shoe shopping trip, and that's all this is, right?

1 comment:

Sherry said...

When Mike agreed to teach the Dave Ramsey class at their church, Michelle had a hard time saying she'd help when he asked her to. She had a bad feeling about Ramsey. Now, though, she says she loved it. I bet you do, too. Hope so.