Saturday, May 23, 2009

Don't trip over the adding machine tape.....

Ever since my first job at the bank, I've been diligent about balancing my checkbook. Yes, I've made errors....but I've found them before any serious damage could result because I balance my checkbook on a regular basis. I took pride in the fact that I balanced to the penny almost every time..........except these last few times.

Somewhere around the middle of March I was an even $10. off. It was in my favor so I didn't come unglued over it and sort of pushed it to the back of my mind....to deal with it when I had some uninterrupted time. Well before I knew it, it was the middle of May and the time was way overdue. The other day I made up my mind to find that lousy $10. I downloaded my latest statement and found that I was now $246. off! Still in my favor....but WTH??? After looking for only a few minutes I found the $10.....totally my own mistake in writing down the wrong amount. Now I'm left with $236 that the bank says I have but I say I don't.

I have gone over my checkbook three times. I went all the way back to January, even though I balanced back then.....just to make sure I REALLY DID balance back then. I am at a loss. I have checked all my addition and subtraction. I have checked the debits and credits on my statement against those written in my checkbook. Everything matches....but yet it CAN'T....because I. DO. NOT. BALANCE. It has become an obsession for me. I keep going back to it. The adding machine tape must be as long as the length of my property line and yet it remains elusive. I do not want to humbly appear at my bank, checkbook in hand, and ask that they help me find this. That would be admitting that I am not SMART enough to find a mathematical error....that the numbers are more intelligent than I am. They actually are, apparently, but damn if I'm going to admit it. My once neat checkbook is now filled with checkmarks from all the intense searches for discrepancies.

I am tempted to just let the bank have its way and go with their total. After all....it IS giving me $236 that I didn't have before. But what troubles me is that I'm afraid that the bank will discover IT has made an error and deduct that amount from my account and I may have already spent it.....resulting in a bounced check and then overdraft fees. HORRORS! What to do. What to do.

All I can say is that I'm grateful that I balanced it frequently so the window I have to look at is only a couple months. I know people who NEVER balance their checking accounts.....which I've told them is quite dangerous. Obviously they have enough money in there that they are not afraid of bouncing a check.....but they could also become a victim of fraud and not even know it for months if the perp just took small amounts of money out at a time. I also knew a girl who hated math and therefore would round out the amount of her checks to the nearest whole dollar when she wrote them in her checkbook register. What a nightmare! In other words, if she wrote a check for $25.62....she would round it out to $26. in her register and subtract that amount. If the check was $25.15....she would round it out to $25. and minus that amount. Needless to say she never bothered to balance her account and was never worried....she claimed her system "evened itself out in the long run" and kept her safe. Whew! Her thought processes are unique, you'll have to say that.

Anyway, I'm back to the adding machine today. I HAVE to find this. Its driving me nuts!
Of course if Publi$hers Clrng Hou$e would ever show up at my door with that multi-million dollar check, I wouldn't have to go through this kind of crap. I just know their driver got lost.

6 comments:

desert dirt diva said...

dand, this makes me wanna really start balancing my check book, but i have no clue as how to do this....as i never have...have a good day

fiwa said...

I bet it's not an addition error. Did ya maybe forget to record a deposit? I would make them show you where it is for exactly that reason - if they decide it's their error and take it back, that's a chunka change.

Remember Monopoly? "Bank Error in your favor!" I hope that is what it is and you get to keep it.

love you-
fiwa

SOUL: said...

i've had this problem before and the bank ALWAYS decides to come back to balance-- or close to it--eventually. an error that big in my favor, is just too good to be true-- and you know what they say about that.

but-- the ONE time that it was true?? was when i did my check book like your friend-- i always rounded debits up-- and credits down... when i moved and closed the account-- i had close to three hundred dollars that was actually mine! how cool that was.
then came the poor days that those pennies and dollars couldn't be spared so i quit doin that, and now i'm so out of the habit i don't do it anymore, and am down to the penny again. and like you-- i am very anal about balancing my checkbook many days a week. if not every day of the week. one of these days i'll get back to the rounding things off again, and have a good little cushion sittin there again. i miss that.

anyhow-- i hope you do find that the extra cash is yours to keep!
good luck with that-
and happy weekend-
hugs my friend

Dear Liza said...

You'll find it. This drives me crazy too, although I always round UP in my register. Then when I balance each week or every few days, I can tell how much cushion I have. Last fall, I had more than eighteen hundred dollars between that "cushion" and my one's collection..which is a savings of every dollar bill that come in my house. It make things kind of interesting. I blew it in vegas, tho. xo :)

Cheryl said...

I'm one of those people who never balance their checkbook. I'm talking at least 5-10 years. I just can't/won't do it. I'd be happy, though, for someone to do it for me.

happyone said...

I use Quicken to balance all my accounts every month. It's simple to use and only takes a couple of minutes. I also think it's fun to do!