Friday, September 28, 2007

Making Better Financial Choices

I'm still wading through my financial maze. Things I've discovered are. . .

SITUATION: I paid $30 in bank fees this past August and $16 so far in September. This is only on our personal checking account. We have 3 accounts with this bank, 2 are business and 1 is personal. I'm sure the bank fees for business are higher than personal accounts.

SOLUTION: I'll transfer our personal checking account to a free checking account at Charter One Bank. My husband will need to stop direct deposit of his paycheck, I'll need to first determine what is paid automatically through this account, put those bills on a regular payment plan where I need to feel the money/transaction going through my hands. I'll also transfer our personal savings account to the same bank. I'll need to discuss with my accountant what needs to happen in order to transfer my business checking account to another bank. My accountant currently receives my statements (again, I have little idea what's going on), orders my checks, and takes care of everything pertaining to this account. My husband also has a business account at this bank, and, although I didn't see any charges on his last statement, I'm not certain as to why. I'm sure he has bank fees also.

SITUATION: We give our kids $1000's of dollars each year in gifts. This really isn't something we can afford to continue doing though. One of our sons is doing an internship right now and has no time for a paying job. That would be pretty much the only situation where assistance is necessary.

SOLUTION: Have talked with two of the kids regarding the reduction of our gift giving. Because I collect piggy banks, I also am a change saver. We'll take all of the change from these banks once a year and use it towards our christmas gift giving.

I am unaware of how much we pay for utilities, auto insurance, even one of our house payments! Because I have so much on automatic, its caused me to be completely out of touch with what is going on financially.

SOLUTION: Get everything off of automatic payment. Begin to use cash for daily purchases, consciously pay bills needing to be paid through online bill pay (free service at Charter One), get in touch with my money. Find out where we're spending our money and determine if that is where we actually want it spent.

I'm committed to creating a system of debt reduction and financial responsibility.

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