Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I have been a good steward of my family’s income and we have done our best to plan and save. However, with three young adult children in various stages of higher education and employment, money seems to vanish overnight. Years ago I set up a ‘Bill Pay’ account with our bank and I have found it to be a useful and efficient tool for keeping current with monthly bills. We also have our utilities set up on auto-draft and my wife and I share this bank account. Inevitably something goes wrong and I sign-in to my account one morning to find that our checking account has been overdrawn. It is also the case that the account has not been over-drafted by one check or automatic withdraw; sometimes three or four drafts hits at the same time and we are charged $35 per overdraft. This always puts me in a good mood – especially around the 25th of the months when there’s no paycheck due for another week and maybe the savings has been tapped out because we’d just paid cash for another semester of college tomfoolery. I always figure some way of covering the losses and padding the account until the first of the month when it is reinvigorated with a couple paychecks. As I recall, the worst occasion of these overdraft fees cost us $350 for ten checks that totaled $214. Oh, happy day.

This very morning I awoke and opened our on-line banking account to find that we had $70.68. Several large checks had gone out yesterday and we barely made it under the wire. While on the Internet I also noted that The United States of America has overdrawn their account by $1,600,000,000,000 (1.6 Trillion) this fiscal year ending September 30th, 2009. Further, it is projected that this figure will total $9,000,000,000,000 (9 Trillion) in debt within ten years.

I feel better about myself. No, no I don’t.


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