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Two Checkbooks

April 15th, 2008 at 10:58 pm

Right now we operate using two checkbooks.

Despite what's going on with us, they are not "his" and "hers".

One checkbook, Checkbook Number Two, is for paying regular bills and saving for certain annual expenses. These include the mortgage, insurances, property tax, medical expenses, auto repair and maintenance, phone bills, utilities, garbage, cable (basic only!), Daisy's school expenses and some of her recreational activities, the newspaper and Christmas.

The other checkbook, Checkbook Number One, is used to pay the other expenses. These include groceries and gas, clothing, gifts, church contributions, household expenses and the credit card.

I originally set up this system when I left paid employment and we dropped to one income. I didn't want to get caught short and not be able to pay the mortgage or fix the car (or my teeth - sigh). Using a spreadsheet and a year's worth of bills I determined how much should go in Checkbook Number Two. What was left was put in Checkbook Number One.

This system has worked marvelously. We basically ended up with a built-in emergency fund in Checkbook Number Two and have not run short when needing the car (or teeth) fixed. The shortfall is not in this account.

The shortfall, about $200 to $500 per month, is in Checkbook Number One. A couple of months ago we got to the point where prior savings (except DH's bonus from 2007) was depleted. We did have a discussion about it but it wasn't very fruitful. I'm determined to do something about this shortfall. More to follow.

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