I just finished setting up my checking account to pay bills on line. I don't know why I didn't do this before. Well, kinda. I like writing checks. Ever since I was little. My parents used to graciously allow me to write out their checks once in a while, when I'd gotten old enough to do it properly. I also remember getting a couple of boxes of leftover checks when we'd moved and set up a new account. I got to write out all the checks I wanted.
Thinking back, I've always been kind of a "form" nerd. It gives me great pleasure to fill information into little boxes. I actually enjoy doing my taxes. I know. I should probably be shot at sunrise. But doing all the calculations and finding all the places I can take more money off...it's fun!
When I was a kid, my dad brought home a bunch of extra address cards from his office. They were printed on one side with a form for change of address or something. The other side was blank. He figured I'd like the white side to draw or color or keep notes. And I did. But I also filled out a fair number on the address side, too. I even got out my old manual typewriter (and, yes, it was old even then) to type in names and addresses on some of them.
I will miss writing checks. I guess I haven't given it up entirely. There are a few people I don't have appropriate information to enter them in yet. But, still, this is the end of an era for me. I think of my daughter growing up...she'll never be able to see Adam and me sitting at the kitchen table, carefully recording bills due and checks written in a blue fabric-covered three-ring binder. That's what my parents used. They used to sit down together to pay bills. Maybe they didn't every month, but I remember it that way. Adam and I...I don't think we've ever paid bills together! When we talk about budget stuff, it tends to start fights. Like most couples, I suppose, fighting about money, children, and sex (according to the research, those are the top three fights married couples have), while really fighting over something else entirely.
I remember reading somewhere that the very first "check" was just a handwritten note on an envelope that a man took in to the bank to cash. Can you imagine that today? A lot of places you write checks to don't even deposit them as checks anymore, but EFTs (electronic funds transfers). The history of money is really pretty fascinating. First you traded services, then goods, then certain goods (such as precious metals), then coins were made, then bills, then checks, and debit cards, which are really just numbers stored in a database, anyway. So, now maybe I'm more in touch with the database.
At the very least, I figure I'm saving the family almost $5.50 a month in postage. If look at it yearly, that's more than $65.00 a year. And that's enough for an extra date night. Woohoo!
What do you think, my love? Where shall we go?