Financially Immature

Okay so somebody in my household (I’m not naming names) has proven herself/himself to be completely irresponsible when it comes to handling money/a checkbook/paying bills on time. I mean, really…this person is almost 40, so you would think this person would know better than to bounce 5 checks at one time. This person should also know that paying bills late results in late fees. This person should also know that just because she/he has direct deposit in place that doesn’t guarantee the money will always be there. This person should also quit writing checks and hoping against hope that they won’t clear before the next deposit goes through. This person also needs to quit using the damn debit card if she/he can’t remember to write down the charges in his/her checkbook!

 

*sigh*

 

This person had to ‘fess up and sheepishly tell the spouse what she/he had done. This person also had to admit to herself/himself that she doesn’t know a damn thing about managing money. That was a hard one to admit y’all. Not that this person was me, but ya know, I’m just saying.

 

*hangs head in shame* Okay, so it was me. I. Screwed. Up. BIG TIME.

 

I got my first checking account when I was 20 years old and I had no idea that you were supposed to subtract the bank service charges from your account. I bounced a rent check and I learned my lesson. I didn’t bounce another check for many, many years. For some reason, and really I have no idea what is going on with me, the last two years I have been overdrawn on my account countless times (seriously, I tried to count them and I decided to quit at 20) – I don’t even want to think about how much I’ve paid in insufficient funds.

I’m a smart woman. I have a college degree. I’ve raised 3 kids and haven’t killed them, so I must be somewhat responsible, right? SO WHAT THE H*LL IS GOING ON WITH ME??????

For the first time in my life, I let my husband tell me what to do and all I said was “okay”. He is taking over the bill-paying and the checkbook. My debit card has been cancelled and is now specifically an ATM card. I am on a cash-only basis now y’all. And the thing is, I was happy to hand it all over to him. I didn’t make excuses or try to argue my case, I just said “okay, whatever you think is right, I’ll do it”. I think he was shocked, stunned, surprised and any other “s” word that there is, because I am famous for arguing excusing explaining my actions so that he would see things my way. Only this time, I knew that my way wasn’t working, so I had no other choice than to let go of the reins and let him take over.

It kills me, KILLS ME, to admit that he is right. I would rather stab myself in the eye with a knitting needle than to admit that maybe he knows what he’s talking about, but lately, I am realizing that he actually IS right a lot of the time – which annoys me to no end, but also allows me to relax and NOT feel like I have to be in control of everything.

I know that this some how is related to my view of eating and weight loss too – I think a lot of the time, when you are out of balance in one area of your life, you are out of balance in other areas too. I had to let go of those reins also and ask my doctor for help with losing weight, and that is going well, so maybe I’ll get my money-head straightened out as well eventually. I guess the next area I really need to tackle is the Spiritual one: we haven’t been to church since July and it is so hard to get back into the habit. I miss it, but to be honest I have never really felt like a part of my church. I love love love the pastor, and a lot of my kids teachers go to this church, but I have never felt like we are missed when we aren’t there. I don’t know, I’ll figure something out.

Okay well, aren’t you glad you stopped by today so I could spill my personal guts all over the place?! I know it’s considered bad manners to discuss money issues, but why? Why is it such a taboo subject? Most people have financial issues, why can’t we talk openly about them and help each other out? Just wondering.

Happy Thursday gang! It’s almost the weekend – SQUEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!

Don’t forget to enter the POMx Tea giveaway in yesterday’s post!

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8 thoughts on “Financially Immature

  1. ha ha ha. this made me laugh. Men. I have had the similar experiences with my husband. SO true about the out of balance part. this was a great read. 🙂 have a great day!

  2. I work in a banking call center and all day long, my job is to explain to people how their checking account really works. Sometimes I feel genuinely bad for the person because they really didn’t know what they were getting into and hundreds of dollars later, it still doesn’t make sense. Banks kinda suck…you get charged for not having enough money and rich people get everything for free. Where’s the justice??

    Good idea dealing in cash only now. I’ve tried to convince my boyfriend time and time again to trade in his debit card for an ATM card. But time and time again, he’d rather pay overdraft fees. Personally, I think you made the right choice.

  3. I hate it when my hubs is right too…it sucks!

    and we all have something that gets us! it’s how we grow..I too don’t think being honest about our money woes is taboo…who made up THAT rule? it just puts so much undue stress and guilt on us to think that WE are the only ones in a penny pinching boat!

    good for you and your honesty!

    and yes…imbalance normally doens’t just apply to one aspect of our lives! (bummer)
    xo hugs to you!

  4. No shame, girlfriend: managing money *is* challenging. And it sounds to me (from other posts) like you’ve been juggling a lot of responsibilities, so maybe it would be helpful to view it not so much handing over control as it is sharing the household workload?

    I’d recommend, though, having your husband keep you in the loop about how he’s managing the finances; don’t just hand over the reins and say “good riddance” and not think about it at all. My husband is our finance guy, too, and he uses Quicken and handles a lot of finance stuff online. I realized one day that I have NO idea how it all works, and that realization was a bit scary. So I’ve been having him show me where things are, how it’s organized, how he does the tasks, etc. (This came up after my mom was in the hospital with serious heart problems, and my step-dad was at a loss about all the finance stuff and where she keeps things.)

  5. Sounds like getting help with the financial and weight management were great first steps towards rebalancing!

    Denial is always so tempting, and to face our screw-ups is really, really hard.

    And I’ll bet eventually once you get used to new habits, you can start taking more of the responsibilities of self-management back yourself. Like you said, you’re a smart woman, and sounds like you’re a great responsible parent, so you’ll do great!

    Good luck!

  6. Jillie, I had to think back into my ‘ancient history’ after I read this post. I wonder if they will ever do a study that connects the messy house/money-spending issues/obesity problems that so many of us have. I never had $20,000 credit card balances, but I always played it close to the line, and I always spent up to the limit on the credit card (about $1000-5000) I never had enough left to tithe. And I had a wee bit of trouble with the IRS, which finally caused me to take out a bank loan the size of a house down payment to pay them off (and I will be forever grateful to that credit union for giving me that loan).

    I finally decided to go ‘cold turkey.’ I took out a loan against my 403B, which I hated to do, and paid off my credit cards, and cut them up. That was many many years ago, and I only have a debit Visa card now. Which basically means I only pay cash for things. I don’t even think about it most days. I’ve never had a problem (had to argue with a few rental car companies, but they are over that now.) And finally, my biggest goal, tithing, comes first, and recently I have been able to give extra. But like I said, I think I was probably close to your age when I finally got that under control. And just like some food, I think I still couldn’t be trusted with a credit card.

    I have a feeling that part of your problem is that your life (and most working mom’s) is overwhelming. I just can’t imagine adding in a husband and 3 little kids on top of my life as it is. I mean, I would love it, no greater blessing. I just don’t know how I could do it all.

    Sometimes its good to give up control of something. But it sure is hard for me to not try to take back the control!

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