Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Balancing my checkbook is not usually such a challenge. I (usually) write everything down, (usually) use a calculator, (usually) balance the checkbook as soon as the statement comes, (usually) have a good mental picture of what's in the checkbook. This month I made a whole series of unfortunate mistakes that just about had me pulling my hair out by the roots. And my hair is really short. It would have taken a Herculean effort.

Sometimes when I transfer money from savings to cover an unusual expense, I transfer the exact amount and pay the bill online without writing down either transaction, since they cancel each other out. It (usually) works out fine.

This month I had one such transfer, and then I transferred some money FROM my savings and put some INTO Sweet Girl's account, but I wrote down the deposit and not the deduction. Bad move. Then I wrote down a transaction at the grocery store twice. And I tried to deduct a credit card bill twice that was almost a thousand dollars (I had actually written it down twice but not subtracted it yet), but that was just laughable. I could see by looking online that I wasn't overdrawn at the bank, because I'm sure they would be nice enough to send me a greeting card if that were the case.

The amount I was off by was a strange amount of $463.60. No transaction for that amount in the records. Then I cleverly divided it by two, thinking that........ I don't know what the hell I was thinking, I was just randomly punching numbers on the calculator at this point.

It took some detective work to discover the combination of the $500 transfer that I neglected to write down and a $36.40 grocery store transaction that I wrote down twice. Good Lord. I'm exhausted. And I thought I might want to teach math...... Give me algebra any old day. I can do x's and y's all day long.

It didn't help that I waited 16 days to balance the checkbook after the statement came. I've been dutifully carrying it around in my bookbag, thinking....oh, maybe when I got caught up with the three thousand projects at school that I still need to grade, I'd balance the checkbook during my planning period. Oh wait.....I don't have a planning period. And we've had performance reviews (our version of the old-fashioned parent conference) before school, after school, and during school every day for the last week. Yeah right.....balance the checkbook in my spare time.

I'd like to have a drink to celebrate, but I think I'll just go to bed instead.

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