Thursday, August 03, 2023

The next generation

I enjoy seeing the new grape vines growing out back. A few years need to pass before they produce grapes. For now, they look healthy and happy. I assume that the recent rains were good for them. Still, the weather is in a cool pattern now and I can't help but wonder if that will slow things down a little.

New grape vines out back. They're sauvignon blanc.

I'm way behind in balancing our checking account. Like months. I'm considering not worrying about it and stopping doing it altogether. I use Microsoft Money to record transactions and for decades I've been balancing it with the bank statement each month. Everything is online now and we frequently review our deposits and spending that way, even though I still get paper statements every month. I've tried for years to get our French bank to send electronic statements, and they say they do (Go paperless!), but I've never received one. I get them from my American bank without a problem. We always have the paper (or electronic) statement if we detect any anomalies.

So, I'm wondering, does anybody still balance their bank accounts the old fashioned way?


  1. I am not a Nonny Mouse... Giggle wont let me sign in to your blog comments as me...
    Walt, I haven't balanced my accounts for years.... there is too little time in life.
    When the HSBC statement from the UK comes through [by mail one month late!], I run my eyes down it to "cheque" for Anommy Lease.... but haven't found one in years.
    The CA account I regularly check on line... and that is it!!

  2. I haven't for years. There was never a mistake, so I gave up. I skim through my two banking apps to make sure there aren't any suspicious transactions and that is it.

    1. Sav blanc, as we say here. Please send a sample dozen bottles.
      I can see bank statements in my phone apps. I only receive an alert that they are now available.

  3. We don’t even have checking accounts.

  4. We haven't had a checking account for about 30 years. Every month, I do add up all our expenses for the month (entered into an Excel spreadsheet into about 15 columns, one for each category), and then at the end of the year, add up all the months to get an overall annual spend, both by category and an overall total. I don't bother trying to reconcile with my bank statements (all received electronically - you have to pay extra for paper ones) - life is too short to chase up the few dollars difference between my accounts and their statements.

  5. I check everything online, I have not done an old fashioned balancing in - a long-long-time.

  6. Having balanced our account in this century. I've learned a lot about wine from you and Ken, merci bien.

  7. Can’t do anything of that kind since my credit union locks my accounts online off and on regularly because of passwords. Les joyeusetés de l’électronique!

  8. My dad used to balance his checkbook, and would sometimes find a tiny discrepancy (like... 10¢), and it would drive him NUTS until he could find the error. If he knew that I no longer balance my checkbook, he would be horrified. But, I do look at everything online.

  9. My poor wife in ages past sweated every month to reconcile the printed bank statement and the cheque book. Nowadays, we rarely write cheques with most payments being made on line and the printed monthly statements simply act as a confirmation. So why reconcile? Roderick

  10. Nope. No paper statements - statements are online and I need to give my password to read and check the transactions. No balancing required!

  11. I see the overwhelming writing on the wall. Balancing the "checkbook" is a thing of the past. Makes me feel better. Thanks to everyone for your comments!

  12. I do a copy-and-paste from my online account into a spreadsheet, so as to do a rough categorisation of what I'm spending on, and an equally rough forward projection to 12 months, to see if I'm in danger of over-spending. In the process I'd spot any transactions I hadn't authorised, purely from memory* - with contactless card payments and online transfers replacing cheques (which I haven't used for I don't know how long- fifteen or twenty years?) and cash (about 20% of my expenditure 15 years ago, less than 2% now), I don't usually bother with collecting receipts.

    *Once last year I got in a tiswas about a small bill at the dentist's that I knew I had paid, but didn't show up in the bank or credit card records. After a good ten minutes talking to their receptionist, I suddenly remembered their card terminal hadn't been working for either of my cards and I'd paid in cash. That's about the only discrepancy I've had in pretty well forever.


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