This isn’t really a post about zombies. The title is cool though.
So, wow, um, I’m actually sitting here looking at money in the bank and I have no idea who should get it. I have paid damned near everyone who needs to get paid and I still have money left! I am… flabbergasted.
On an unusual day off today, Sara ran many errands and paid many local bills for us: insurance, dentist, kids’ doctors. All in cash. Oh yes. I’m sick to death of looking at a bank balance and wondering if that’s how much money I actually have. The last straw for me was 2 weeks ago when a $39 gas purchase made with a check card took 5 days to clear my account.
That means that if the destination for that payment was anywhere in the continental United States, I could actually have jumped in the car and driven it there faster. If that gas pump had a dial-up modem connected to a rotary phone the transaction could have been done in, what, 3 days? I know quite a few people who just refuse to submit to some conveniences of the modern age, like direct paycheck deposit and ATM cards. They’re not looking all that crazy to me anymore. Crazy, yes. Just, less so.
So now I’m trying to do as much of our transacting in cash as we can without being majorly inconvenienced. Our gas, groceries, and insurance (cuz it’s local) is all done in dead presidents. When it comes to gas and groceries, cash also has the added benefit of running out when you’ve spent it all. No more overdrawing an account or spending money that’s earmarked for something else but is oh so conveniently at your fingertips.
There’s no way around needing a good checking account, though. Believe it or not, there’s still some people out there who don’t accept payments through the Internet. Hell, I accept payments through the Internet. (Paypal.com. clandelaney at charter.net. *cough*) What’s their excuse? We’d been in such a sad state when it came to our checking accounts this past year that I scrapped them all and started over. We had 3 checking accounts. I know, I know. Trust me, it was a GREAT idea at the time. I’m sure the bank thought so, too. All told, they’ve probably reaped half a grand in bounced check fees from us. So I tore up all the checks and re-ordered new ones for just one account. They arrived last week. They’re so depressingly plain and light blue… I love ’em.
I think we’re well on our way to meeting our first big goal of being back on a regular budget, and paying everyone what we owe them, on time, by the end of February. Our tax refund will give us the extra little kick we’ll need to knock it all into place. Wait and see. No one can stop us now. We’re gonna win this one.
And I’m gonna get back to my second job writing platitudes for the Special Olympics.