Thursday, December 17, 2009

I'm Not Broke.....

....I just never seem to have money.

I have been a zealous saver of money since Hubby and I married. He would argue that I have also become a zealous SPENDER of money, and he might have a point.

MY point, however, is that I have savings automatically deducted as soon as I get paid. Before I ever see my check stub, money is automatically transferred from my checking account into my savings accounts. All four of them.

No, I don't know why. It would be the same amount of money if I put the savings all in one place. But because it's spread out, it FEELS like it's a lot more money.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have thousands upon thousands of dollars at my disposal. Sometimes it doesn't stay in the savings account long before I haul it back over to the checking account. Especially at Christmas. I have this vision of a little tiny person inside the bank's computer chips who watches me do electronic transfers. "Oh good God, it's HER again. Why doesn't she just make up her mind?"

I have another account into which I deposit a portion of my online teaching job pay every month. Well, most months. Well, some months. Well, I did it once or twice. That's because my online job doesn't take any taxes out, and it royally screws up our income taxes at the end of the year. So I put some aside to cushion the blow when it comes time to file taxes. We like to get a big refund to pay for our spring vacation. Now we just have to settle for paying for the vacation a little at a time in advance and having just a little bitty refund with which to buy alcoholic beverages souvenirs.

Hubby and I also pool our change. We put all the silver into a tall piggy bank that is shaped like a Pepsi bottle. When we had been married just a few years, we decided that when it was full we would use it for a vacation. I was secretly getting rolls of quarters and putting them into the bank to speed up the process. Joke was on me when I had to roll the damn things. It was, however, almost enough money to pay for an all-inclusive trip to Mexico. We put all our pennies into a plastic coffee canister. That's just enough money usually for a twelve-pack of beer. On sale.

I have a metal tin where I've been stashing some cash since we started going to the casino. I don't know why I hide it there. It's not like Hubby would take it from me (unlike my ex, I might add) or ask me to share it with him. I think I'm actually hiding it from myself. Out of sight, out of mind? If we go to the casino and I bring back more money than I took, or more money that I expected to, I put some of it into the tin. I know how much is in there, but I pretend that I don't, and I NEVER count it.

Hubby and I also put $20 each into a box in his top drawer every weekend. We never cheat, and we never fail. On the rare occasion that we have to "borrow" some from that fund, it goes back immediately, as soon as one of us goes to the bank.

I have a jar in my junk room office into which I stuff random dollar bills. It isn't that common that I HAVE random dollar bills, which is what got me into trouble at the post office earlier this week, but they always wind up in my pockets. When I start to put my jeans into the hamper, I find one or two dollars in the pockets, and I stuff them into the jar. It's a small jelly jar, and I have to start folding the dollars and cramming them in. I REALLY have no idea how much money is in the jar.

In addition to the jar, I have a brass owl bank that sits on my dresser. I don't remember who gave it to me, but that sucker is heavy. And it requires a screwdriver to take the thingie off the bottom to get into it. If I forget to put my change into the Pepsi bank downstairs, I put it into the owl bank upstairs. It got too full a couple of years ago, so I emptied it, separated and counted the money, tallied it up on a spreadsheet, printed it out, and put all the money and the print-out into a plastic bag and put it in my desk. Yes, I realize this is sounding freakier by the minute.

Putting loose change and dollar bills I get back from drive-through windows (I promise I really don't do that much, but this is twice this week that I've mentioned it) into the console in my car was Hubby's idea. I am no notorious for never having cash, probably because I have stashed it all in various and sundry locations. Once during my doctoral program, we had class at the library, I guess so we could learn how to research. I parked in one of the parking decks on campus and walked to the library, because the parking situation on the UGA campus is nothing short of ludicrous. You get one designated parking space, and it is likely to be all the way across campus from where the majority of your classes are. But I digress.

I parked in the deck because it would be dark when I got out of class, and I don't like walking around campus alone at night. Halfway through the presentation, however, I realized that I had just enough money to pay for the parking deck UP TO THAT MOMENT. If I stayed for the whole class, I wouldn't be able to get my car out of the parking deck. [They take debit cards now, not that THAT would have helped if my poltergeist debit card had acted the way it has in the past several days.]

I sneaked out of class at break time, hoping and praying I wouldn't miss something that would be necessary and vital to completing my doctoral program. When I told Hubby about it, because I don't have the good sense to keep SOME things to myself, he sort of rolled his eyes and suggested that I start keeping a few dollars in the console. It has come in handy, too. Just one of the many things he's smart about.

It kills my soul to say it, but I may have inherited this propensity for hoarding small amounts of money from my father. When our step-mother died, Katydid and I were looking for a specific picture of her that our father wanted at the funeral home. We went through every drawer and closet, and we KEPT finding little bags of money, jars of change, boxes of rolled coins. Katydid looked at me and said, "We're not going to tell the others about this, are we?"

Yeah, Katydid, YOU explain that one to Nurse Jane.

It was a moot point anyway, because our father remarried, and when he died, everything went to the Wicked Witch of the Lego House. They weren't even living together at the time, but that's another story.

Nurse Jane and Katydid, if I die before you do, be sure you look through EVERYTHING very carefully. Hubby won't care. Just don't let Mother see the condition of my junk room office. Whatever money you find is yours to keep.

You don't even have to tell the others.


Maggie said...

When my Grandma F died we moved some books and lo and behold there was cash placed in pages, hither and yon. So we had to go through EVERY SINGLE BOOK in her house so we didn't auction off a Danielle Steel paperback novel she got a dime at a rummage sale and that we would get a nickle for with a $100 bill bookmark to the lucky winner.

katydid, Nurse Jane and SweetGirl (maybe Hubby) would beat knots on your head for your stashing and hording, if you were alive that is...


I think it's completely awesome that you have enough change to take a vacation once a year. all from change. This is the week that "change" is awesome and wonderful, I guess!

Anonymous said...

I would like to apply to be your adopted sister please!

KatyDid53 said...

I have no clear recollection of any event which occurred more than a day or so ago. Damn your infernal good memory!