Friday, January 9, 2009

Managing the CheckBook and Paying the bills.

I have a love/hate relationship with paying bills. I love the feeling of having it DONE! No need to worry about it any more. But I also hate when
(a) There is not enough money to go around and
(b) the money is gone!

Doug's paycheck hit his account last night and *POOF* It's gone this morning. Because I had to pay bills. Ugh. Normally paying the bills isn't this painful, but we were behind and so we had to pay extra on all of our bills. We even still owe money to our electric company. But our cable bill and our gas heat bill is paid. We even have a few more days to pay on the electric bill so we will be fine.

Here I sit. We are deeply in debt, budgeting like maniacs, and finally, FINALLY some financial wisdom is starting to seep in.

Doug still has $70 something dollars left in his savings account. His paycheck automatically diverts 10% to the savings account each pay period. So, while I could pull that money out and use it to pay more on our overdue electric bill, is it not wiser to listen to the old advice that says "PAY YOURSELF FIRST"!!

There have been several times especially this past year where we could have really used a "rainy days" bank account. It could have saved our bacon several times if we had just never touched the savings and probably would have saved us banking fees and such too. In other words- our attempt to be economical and use every drop of money that came our way backfired and cost us more money in the long run.

So the money stays in savings. The savings is linked to the checking account so if Doug does manage to bounce a check, he has a back up cushion. But we both have agreed to ignore our respective savings accounts. We are going to be both saving up some money each month and hopefully that will help us get into a cheaper and better rental come Spring or Fall!

I guess until recently I always thought "If I owe people money- how can I justify keeping some in savings?" But this past year has shown me that having some money in savings saves you from having to owe people in the first place!


Ruth said...

We are trying to pay ourselves first, too. It is hard sometimes.

FreckledNiki said...

Oh Alee... I feel what you are saying. I get paid every two weeks and my husn=band everyweek. We live paycheck to paycheck. There just never seems to be enough to get ahead. 2009 is going to be a good year though... I am trying to come up with creative budgeting and living ideas. Good Luck!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Alee, It's Carol, one of your Farmgirl Sisters. I just read this about your financial situation and I am in the same boat. I TOTALLY understand what you're going through. It is so hard and it's scary sometimes. We need to think of ways to make a little more. At least you all have a savings. I don't because I never have money left over to put away. But I'm going to make that a new goal, even if it's only $10.00 a month. Hang in there and stay positive. Farmgirl Hugs, Carol

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