This should probably be more embarrassing than it is for me to admit, but I never really learned how to balance a checkbook.
I met my husband when I was twenty, and got married soon after. For the first seven years of marriage, David and I didn’t keep track of our checks or ATM withdrawals. Whatever financial penalty we suffered due to unnoticed bank errors, we just counted as the cost of freedom. After one too many bounced checks, however, David bought a computer checkbook to bring some organization to our lives. But when the technological novelty wore off, he turned over the sole responsibility to me, which was like giving a toddler a chess board and being surprised when he eats it. My jaunt as financial planner lasted until I got the phones disconnected, while David’s lasted until he realized he couldn’t mail the bills due to a lack of stamps. The pendulum of financial responsibility has swung back and forth so many times, it’s hard to know who’s more inept. (Although David is certain the distinction belongs to me after I bounced our tithe check at church.)
Our laziness extended to other areas of life as well. When a lightbulb went out, we sat in the dark for months, wearing mismatched socks and putting Preparation H on our toothbrushes until one of us caved in. Additionally, David would drive by Blockbuster with a due video sitting on the passenger seat just to avoid making a left turn. He’d think, “Would I pay three dollars to not have to return this video right at this moment?” Of course, it never was just three dollars. In fact, we’re the reason the company got rid of late fees. They got so rich off David, they decided to let the rest of America slide. Even once, David sold his Honda Accord only to have the new owner call us a week later saying she’d found a never-watched “Reversal of Fortune” in the trunk.
But when 9/11, we grew up a little.
Read what happened.