Posted tagged ‘family accountant’

“Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.”

January 28, 2016

Today is sunny and warmer than it has been. The snow is almost gone. It lingers in piles on the corners of the streets and beside driveways. My deck and parking space are clear. The drama of the first snowstorm is over.

I woke up early, a relative term I realize, but decided I wasn’t ready yet to face the day. I slept another hour and a half. Gracie joined me. I took my time reading the papers. There just seemed to be lots of news. It was a three cups of coffee morning.

Today has an empty agenda. I’m not even sure I’ll get dressed. I’m not going anywhere. My car’s trunk is filled with trash but Leandro and Rosanna will be here in a bit to clean so tomorrow will be the big day, a banner day, a day to be out and about. Tomorrow is dump day, and the weatherman says it may rain. Of course it will. It is also get Gracie’s license day as the price goes up 100% after tomorrow which also happens to be the last day I can pay my real estate taxes on line. How will I pay you ask? Tomorrow is pay day.

My dad got paid every Friday when I was a kid. He’d hand his check over to my mother, the family accountant, who would cash it. It was her job to divvy the money into budget envelopes and to pay her Christmas club for the week. I remember those envelopes. On the front of each was the amount my mother put in every week. The envelopes over time became a deep tan color and were bound together inside a red cover with strings to close it.

When I bought my house, I started to use budget envelopes, but I wasn’t fancy. I just grabbed white envelopes, labeled them and put the amount on the front. I got paid every two weeks. The first couple of years I owned the house the mortgage was half my month’s salary. Those were the lean years. I didn’t travel anywhere for the first time since 1969 when I went into the Peace Corps. Restaurants, except once in a while, were not budget items. Grocery shopping was limited to needing only. I got sick of hot dogs and hamburgers for dinner.

The lean years lasted about four years. In the fifth year I went to Europe. My fiscal crisis was behind me: no more envelopes, no more scrimping and no more longing to be somewhere.