I am not particularly good with money.
I don’t mean that I spend lots. I hate clothes shopping. I tend to go very rarely but then spend a small fortune but that lasts me for at least six months. If I want a good dress for an occasion, I will go into a trusted shop, tell the assistant what I want (in terms of colour and length and usually ‘a flattering shape that covers my tummy’ type of request), if I find two dresses I like I will buy both to save the pain another time and I’m usually out of there within 45 minutes). I’m not overly fussed about shoes or bags – apart from anything else I hate?having to move things from one bag to another so have one bag for Sept – May and a couple of summer bags. My one extravagance?are books.
I’m just not good of keeping track of money. ?I tend to pay for personal stuff with the credit card and then pay it off each month. I pay for diesel and anything else that can be put down for business use from one or other of the business account (my Write on Track account or the farm account – whichever is reasonably healthy). I am hopeless at keeping an eye out for special offers in supermarkets or comparing prices. I don’t have a loyalty of any particular supermarket and I don’t keep any loyalty cards as the number of them is just getting ridiculous. I like Aldi and Lidl because I can do a grocery shop in about 20 minutes, 30 minutes max.
We know how much has to go out of the farm account each month in direct debits, paying our own salary and loan payments. We know how much we have to make before we can pay any other bills. Yet I still manage to make some silly errors.
Some time ago, Brian received a phone call from the bank manager saying that our account was over its overdraft limit and could we make a payment. Brian was surprised and said ‘but Lorna put in a cheque the other day’, as we’d received a cheque for about ?18,000. No sign of the cheque. ?Consternation while the bank manager investigated what had happened. To cut a long story short, I had paid the money into the machine using the credit card instead of the debit card and it took about two weeks to get it transferred.
We have a number of bank accounts – the main farm account, Brian’s farm account (as he has a separate herd number, and separate loans), personal account and my Write on Track account. Each month, I transfer ?3,500 into Brian’s account to pay that loan. It’s not needed on the months that he receives a single farm payment so I’ve never bothered to set up a direct debit. Plus, there’s the odd time the money might not be there and we need a little bit of creative accounting. On the odd occasion I’ve forgotten to transfer it, the bank manager is very obliging and usually sends me an email or gives me a quick phone call.
The bank statement arrived and Brian noticed that the ?3,500 in May hadn’t gone into his account. I was puzzled as I was sure I’d put it in but it has happened before that when transferring money and having to add in the pin number the second time, I forgot to do so. Anyway, I went to transfer it, both of us cursing the fact that we were ?3,500 less well off than we thought we were as we’d a lot of bills to pay.
The quarterly bank statement for the personal account arrived on Friday and on opening it, I was surprised at how healthy it was. Initially I thought that I must have forgotten to pay a credit card statement but no, that was fine.
I had transferred the ?3,500 to the personal account! I know an important wife skill in farming is being good with money so I guess I still have a way to go.
It was funny until I realised that BOI charged us ?38 for the error so our new bank manager will be getting an email on Monday morning. I’m so sick and tired of them changing managers frequently that I’m starting the way I mean to go on with his one and being firm with my requests. I may not get a refund but no harm in asking.
It has been a hectic week as I’m trying to fit in all my training and mentoring before the children get their holidays this Friday. 9.5 long weeks of summer holidays coming up – bliss. I did get a phone call on Wednesday wondering if I could go on Midday on Thursday as there was a farming topic. I had tons to do but didn’t actually have to be anywhere else until 2pm in Kilkenny so up I went. If you’d like to see it, you can watch it here.
photo credit: Monopoly Cowboy via photopin (license)