Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Month Later - Month of Not Buying Anything New Aftermath

We've been able to buy things for a month now, but have not reverted back to "impulse buying" yet. Apparently when you've had to fantasize for weeks about buying epoxy, it sticks with you. Deciding to establish more of a budget, I set up an "allowance" for each of us through our online bill pay. We each have a credit card in our own names only in case one of us has identity theft problems, so I set it up so our online bill pay sent our allowance directly to our personal credit cards. This worked really well for me, since my card is from my old bank, but logging in to our account one day, I noticed that Andy's card showed no recent transactions. Andy checked with the bank. Their response: "That's a great idea, but it doesn't work."

It turns out that when we used online bill pay, it sent a check back to our own bank, and they automatically put it back in the checking account--apparently not stopping to wonder why we were writing checks to ourselves. So, since our account was linked to the credit card, I set up automatic transfers, which worked quite nicely until about two weeks later---the card balance was back to zero.

Now it's Andy's allowance, not mine, so if he wanted to spend every single dime of it, that is his choice, but what were the odds of spending the EXACT amount? So I checked with Andy, who had not been on a spree, and he called the bank. Their response: "That's a great idea, but it won't work."

Since the accounts are linked, in an effort to be helpful, our bank automatically moved the money back to the interest-bearing checking account because who would want to keep a negative balance on their credit card????

No wonder we are a nation of debt--it's the only thing our banks understand!

We do want to make our "reduced spending" habits permanent, so we have decided to go 3 months without buying anything new--starting when Andy gets laid off at Micron, which is slated for the end of June. Seems like good timing: make no money, spend no money. The new experiment will coincide with both our birthdays AND our wedding anniversary, which will be interesting. Maybe a little "shopping ahead" is in order......

1 comment:

SusieH said...

That is a super idea, about moving the money to the cards...what a shame the Bank World doesn't get it.

I'm still percolating your experiment, and it's informing my spending a leetle bit. Every little bit helps, though!


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