3 Replies Latest reply on Apr 21, 2014 5:53 PM by BoBraxton

    checks and check images

    BoBraxton

      We married in 1967 at age 23. I opened my first checking account about seven years earlier: National Bank of Alamance (NC).

      For decades the actual checks got returned in monthly statement envelope twelve times a year.

      There was no charge by our banks. Then our local bank was purchased by a regional bank.

      When our checking account(s) got reconstituted, some time later the bank began printing check images.

      My understanding is that this saves banks money, so it seemed perverse later on when the bank began charging monthly $3 per account.

      We had three checking accounts: 1) hers; 2) theirs; 3) his - a lot of money for what had "always" been free.

      On-line banking including on-line "bill pay" has been a slow switch-over for me.

      My thinking of finances (spending) is firmly fixed in the "write checks" foundation.

      She has a credit card; he has a credit card.

      But now we have gone to another bank in 2013 and 2014 and have a single checking account (joint) there.

      The monthly charge for check images is $1 (one ninth of the total fees from that other bank).

      Even though we do a lot of purchasing with each one's credit card, when the statement from credit card arrives, generally I write one check per line on the credit card bill. Sometimes I even write multiple checks. The most recent example is the bill for airline tickets which is a single amount (greater than a thousand dollars). I write a check for "hers" and a separate check for "his" - splitting the line total amount into two equal parts. Sometimes I combine and write one check for multiple (usually) small items. Examples are Apple photography that my wife uses and, another example, for vehicle fuel (we drive a 2005 Prius). In those cases above "Memo" I write some details such as the mm/dd when the charge was made and to the right a dollars-and-cents amount for that purchase. The amount of the check equals the sum of individual purchases. This is Ok (with me) only because all the combined charges are "alike." In the case of a recent "hers" credit card, the new charges were greater than two and a half thousands. I wrote about twenty checks (most of which she actually signed). Am I a candidate for a 21st century strait-jacket?

        • Re: checks and check images
          MyR Community Manager

          BoBraxton, thank you for creating a new discussion thread! We appreciate and enjoy your participation in the MyRetirement online community and look forward to your future contributions.

          • Re: checks and check images
            JoeW519

            Hmm. Well, I don't get charged for checks except when I have to buy a new box of them every 3 years or so. I only write checks for contributions (in case of audit; they like the things but I can't understand why) and annual bills (e.g insurance, property tax).

             

            Otherwise, I shop with our credit cards which have a good-size credit line, keep the receipts in an envelope (one for each card), and check off the purchases on the statement each month (which I print and keep for records until the end of the year. I pay the credit cards via online banking and pay each with a single payment.

             

            Yours sounds very complicated and I've read the explanation 3 times ... I can't figure out why you'd do all of that? It sounds like a lot of work ... do you feel it's necessary?

              • Re: checks and check images
                BoBraxton

                My Rev. Dr. spouse asks me the same question. However, my CPA who prepared the clergy-related joint income tax returns likes a lot what I deliver each March (or so) for that purpose. Clergy taxes are affected by all housing-related expenses. Until retirement, I also needed to track about a dozen categories of Professional expenses, which could amount to around $10,000 per year as well (deductible, too). I admit that I am more or less "stuck" with thinking patterns of the 1950's and early 1960's. My financial management education came in part from my Boy Scout merit badge on "citizenship in the home." My father guided me to buy one carpentry tool (additional) each pay period and put all the rest into Savings and Loan account that paid 4% simple interest (from age 15 the summer I turned 16). Part of my philosophy is that at least in theory all that time I am spending keeping the records is time I am not spending even more money. As my first office location job used to tell me "Management is like Cribbage (he had been in the U.S. Navy) -- you spend more time keeping score than you do playing the game!"