One day a few years ago, I was sitting at my computer, checking things off in a paper register. Wolfgang asked me what I was doing.
"I'm balancing the checkbook", obviously.
"Whaaaat?", he looked at me like I was creating hieroglyphics.
Yes, he was aware of what "balancing the checkbook" meant, he just never saw a reason to do it. It was something only old people do.
So I was all, "how do you know how much is available in your account??"
And he was all, "I just check my balance in the app!"
And I was all, "What about stuff that hasn't cleared??"
He wasn't concerned. I think at the time, he was finishing up college and living in our house, so no real bills to check off.
I never write checks anymore, but there are automatic recurring payments, direct deposits, venmo transactions, occasional debit card activities... I wanna know where we're at and make sure I'm not forgetting an impending payment. Plus I like knowing what each transaction was about - something the bank app doesn't always clearly describe. Has it become an obsolete activity?
I'm thinking about this because I was "reconciling the checking account" (maybe I should say that instead of "balancing the checkbook") this morning and found it's about time for a new register for penciling in the entries. Maybe that's the real thing Wolfgang was poking fun at - keeping a pencil-paper record.
Do you do it?
I do have a spreadsheet I update, but I like to be able to just open a physical register and see what's what. Since I'm about to run out, I went to amazon to order more. Out of curiosity, I read a few of the reviews because what's to review about a checkbook register?
One reviewer stated that he has registers he's kept for the past 30 years. He likes to go back and see what he was spending/receiving, "like reading old journals".
OMG, now THAT seems like an old person thing to do. Or maybe I just equate "keeping stuff" with "old people" because my parents had a hard time throwing anything away, and I've gone totally to the other side by being a clutterphobe.
Nope, once I fill 'em up and everything's cleared, they're gone. So there's that.
Do you keep a physical checking account register? Do you regularly reconcile it? If so, how long do you hold onto the old ones?
Old people want to know.