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15 March 2010

Math skills are important

In preparation for my pending trip to the Land of the Open Container Laws (i.e. Savannah), I have been putzing around the house doing laundry and balancing my checkbook. The laundry has gone well. The checkbook balancing ... not so well. Actually, it turned out well but served to illustrate my ineptness at math.

For some reason, my online account stated that I had about $200 more than my checkbook, and the only things that hadn't processed through did not add up to the difference. I also saw that a recent deposit hadn't cleared or even showed as pending. I called the bank, and they discovered the error. They adjusted the account, and now I had over $400 more in my online statement than in my checkbook register! WTF?? I'm never one to complain about free money, but I also like to know every detail of my account so I know how much I have to spend.

So the discrepancy meant that I had to go WAAAAAY back into the register and try to figure out where the error was. Happily, I found it. Way back in the start of February, when my checkbook register went from one page to the other, I kinda transposed some numbers and knocked off $400 from my balance. Oops.

The nice thing is that I actually am making enough money that it wasn't a huge deal. It is still a few weeks until the end of the month, and my incorrect balance would have gotten me there. But I'm more than ecstatic that the error was discovered. After all, I'm heading to Savannah and San Diego in the next three weeks! I know that this sounds totally pompous and braggy, but, after so many years of making crap money as a teacher in NY and then being poverty stricken as a grad student, making real money is a wonderful thing. And to make that money while doing something that I love and find rewarding is even better. It's a huge relief in my life to not have to panic about money after all the bills are paid. Buffers are a good thing. Money buffers are a great thing.

So, today's life lesson is: Always double check your math when balancing your checkbook. It can save you headaches in the end!
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