Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Relaxing my Sphincter

My friend Samantha, aka The Dragonfly (or the blogger formerly known as Spymommy) had a little challenge on her blog this morning. I wasn't tagged, but I thought it would make a fun and easy, as well as informative, post.

In three words describe something you've done today, including a picture.

Dan shocked me two nights ago by saying that he'd been thinking about taking over the checkbook. I've done the bills and balanced the checkbook and tracked all the money for the entire 13 years of our marriage. I used to dream of Dan taking over the checkbook so he could really know how things were financially, and so he could share that burden of knowledge and responsibility. When Dan and I made the goal to get out of debt in the fall of 2007, we agreed that I would continue to track all the money and make the payments. We would look at our budget together a couple times a month and make decisions together when money was tight or decide where to put any extra money we got. It's been working pretty good until the last couple of months.

With summer activities, working in the garden, and... I don't really know what else, I haven't been as diligent in keeping things organized. Because Dan works as a consultant, he is paid as a contract employee, and therefore cannot get direct deposit. His paychecks arrive by mail and the time from invoicing until the arrival of the paycheck is very sporadic. Needless to say, it makes budgeting a challenge when you're not sure when the income is going to be arrive. We agreed when we started the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover that we would only make payments on bills when there was actual money in the account rather than trying to juggle when things were due with when we thought things would clear. We'd really been burned by overdraft fees.

The other day, I made a credit card payment on the day it was due (to avoid a late fee) without realizing that another important bill was due and had to be payed right away by check. Writing that check would result in the account being overdrawn. Dan said to me, "You gotta do better, you've been slipping."

The truth hurts!

A couple days later was when Dan said he wanted to take over the money. My first instinct was to say, "No, I'll do better." But then I started thinking, This is what you've always wanted. Be happy! So Dan is now officially in charge.

As I say goodbye to the checkbook, I've had to promise Dan not to backseat drive and try to tell him how to do things or be anal about how he categorizes all the expenditures. It's going to be weird to be on the outside, but I think it'll be nice to just get the allotted amounts of cash for groceries, clothing, kids' stuff, etc. and not have to worry about anything else. And hopefully it will result in us getting out of debt sooner.

So, in three words, today I am Relaxing my Sphincter. Thanks, Bin, I love you!


Apis Melliflora said...

I was a bit apprehensive about your three words, but your post was rose to the challenge!

Apis Melliflora said...

My skills as an editor did not.

Sue said...

Melissa, it's just your genetic love of the Shakers manifesting itself!

Sue said...

P.S. Your profie pic is HOT, Melissa!

So, I showed this post to Dan and he immediately declared, "Oh that is totally inaccurate! You didn't exculsively handle the checkbook for our entire marriage. I tried to take over for about 4 days, but you wouldn't stop pestering me and telling me what to do. And don't say you "dreamed" of turning over the checkbook. You ruled it with an iron fist!"

Apparently my three words were every well chosen!

The Dragonfly said...

You make me laugh! I was ready for some kind of doctor's exam explanation after reading your three words.

The Queen Vee said...

One less thing on your plate and now more on Dan's.

I suppose pride could have stopped this turnover but you didn't let it.

Hopefully the debt will continue to go down so that you can be free of the burden that weighs on you both.

Flexbility and relaxing of body parts can contribute to a good debt reduction plan.

Loved our phone chat last night, sorry it was so chaotic but that's my life right now.

Pilch Construction said...

The title of your post alone deserved a comment. It's right up there with my favorites, along with "the assman cometh."

Hil said...

You crack me up, Sue!

Kris said...

Hi Sue! It is fun catching up with you a little through your blog! How great to have all of that off your shoulders, good luck to Dan :) Ruled with an iron fist, that makes me laugh. I am the same way, I dream of handing all of that responsibility off, but can't imagine it actually happening, I will probably rule with an iron fist forever...
Your kids are so cute, it looks like everyone loves country life! good for you guys!! too bad we aren't close enough to scrapbook anymore though...

Dustan and Micayla said...

Sue--good job in letting go, now you don't have to think about it anymore...well try not to at least. You are so funny!

Becky in Wyo said...

Dude, I don't know if I could relax my sphincter. That was HUGELY courageous of you!!!!

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