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Blog: If Your Money Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy
Your Money Ain't Happy and Your Not Happy if Ignorance is Your Bliss

You go to your mailbox, hoping for something fun in the mail. You anxiously open the mailbox and start paging through the envelopes to see what might be of interest when you come across THAT envelope.  The bank statement envelope, you know the one you avoid at all costs for the past number of years or decades.  Your relationship at this moment with your money is avoid, avoid, avoid because sometimes ignorance is just pure bliss!  Your money is complaining that it feels used because when you want to have fun, money is the first one you call to have a fun fling but a serious relationship is out of the question.  Maybe money has a point because when things get serious you just avoid it and act like nothing is wrong.  You know that your money ain't happy and you really can admit the relationship could be much better if you quit avoiding some of the problems.  So let's look at one tip to keep your money and you happy by bringing in the advice of the bank statement (don't worry I am not asking you to sit down and reconcile your bank statement) to open up a little conversation with your money.  Your relationship can be a little more "reconciled" by using my one tip for this week.  Yes, just one big tip you don't want to miss because it can make or break you and your money's relationship!
Last week I wrote about three major leaks in your finances.  If you used even some of that advice you probably saved yourself at least $100 just over the course of one week.  If you missed that one just click the link to it on the bottom of this page.  I am trying to make it easier to repair some of the financial damage going on with quick steps that are easy and can be done right now.  Speaking of damage…let's start repairing this relationship with your money a little more.
In walks the bank statement, you are a little surprised that it is not holding that much of a grudge towards you for avoiding it at all costs.  Money looks at you with a look that says "see your bank statement won't bite you now will it?"  You know you're going to be in the hot seat but hey if progress can be made then you can do this.  Money starts the conversation by saying out loud this time, no more dirty looks at you, "I just want to be understood a little more and that's why I brought the bank statement to this session.  I feel if we could use this tool together it would bring us closer to our goals and will lower the avoid factor, if not eliminate it in the future."
I have to admit your money is right.  If you just open up your envelope the next time you get your bank statement and take a peek at it you can analyze a few things.  So here's my big tip of the week.  When you are looking at your bank statement look at these sections to see where most of the contention is and start repairing it today!
  1. Deposits.  Did all the deposits go in correctly?  This is your money and what if part of that money did not make it home to your account you may not know the answer if you don't just check and make sure what you deposited matches the deposits.
  1.  Debit Card Spending.  If you look at this section you will be able to have a very open conversation with your money.  Look at the number of debit card transactions and how many pages used to list them all.  This will tell you whether or not that debit card is the source of mismanaged money.  It will also show you if there has been any fraudulent charges…yes this happened to me once and if I didn't open my statement the day it came who knows how much more money would have been spent by a crook.  I'll expand on this situation in my next blog. 
  1. ATM leaks.  My husband always joked when I would get after him for using the ATM way too many times that it was like a slot machine and he won every time.    Use the ATM to get cash out for money that you already budgeted for like we talked about last time.  Nothing can put you in the red faster than that fast cash unbudgeted.
  1. Checks or Electronic Payments.  Using online to pay bills is a huge time saver and money saver on postage.  Paying and keeping track of how much is spent on monthly bills is a great cornerstone to building a budget.  After the bills are paid you know how much extra cash you have to budget on the fun stuff. 
So to summarize, my big tip of the week is looking at your bank statement is one of the best ways to start a good standing relationship with your money.  You can see what your bad habits and good habits are and start your course of action right away.  You can get to reconciling later, but for now just knowing your bank statement won't bite is a big step that shouldn't be avoided. 

posted on: 10/24/2007 11:30:00 AM by Triste Horrell
category: Finances

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If Your Money Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy

by Triste Horrell

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About Triste:

Being an organizing expert makes one want to be a "showroom" in all areas of life. However reality can hit hard when you're a mother of small children and a military wife and own an organzing business. Of course Triste would like to have a picture perfect Better Home and an even Better Garden. Throw a Pottery Barn in the backyard for exceptional creative time to become the wiz-woman for all the ideas and inventions that the world could not live without. But Triste has settled on the fact of telling herself "I can be perfect in my mind and no one can mess up my space there!" In reality Triste is very self-motivated and has true business accomplishments like having SYSTEMIZE since 1997, the first home and business organizing firm in the state of South Carolina. She has been repeatedly recognized in her Greenville, SC area for her organizing expertise and makeovers on local NBC and FOX news, Greenville News, local magazines such as Greenville Magazine and Upstate Parent and NPR radio. She has turned people's lives around by focusing on what she calls the "four building blocks of being organized" consisting of space, time, financial and personal. This is even represented in her business logo. "That's what I'm in business for, turning people's lives around!" Also applying her popular 3 Steps to Systemize have not only organized her clients but KEPT them organized for years.

Triste's Website:


Downtime Activities

  • Reading Magazines
  • Spending time at our cottage
  • Keeping our Westie pretty
  • Putting tealights around after the kids are in bed
  • Adventures with my awesome hubby
  • Making microwave smores...just for me
    1 graham cracker, broken in half 1 small piece of chocolate 1 big marshmellow On one side of cracker put piece of chocolate and marshmellow on top. Place in microwave and heat for approx. 17 seconds (while cooking replace marshmellow on top of chocolate if needed). Put other half of cracker on top, eat and enjoy and watch out for oozing chocolate!

My Organizing Tool-Box

  • Time - Outlook
    This is a great way to keep papers off the desk and track where you need to go, task list, jot down quick notes on the virtual "post-its, keep up with contacts in the virtual Rolodex
  • Personal Finances - Quicken
    This simple yet practical program keeps your bank accounts in tact...did I mention simple?!
  • Business Finances - QuickBooks
    I have used this program for years and have set many clients up on it. It is a must for keeping track of business transactions and keeping tax time easy...push a few buttons and out come the reports, your done and your tax preparer loves you.
  • Space - turntables
    I love these things! You can put them in cabinets, the fridge, garage, and closets. They are inexpensive, easy to find and available at any discount store and you can even find fancier ones. If you are not sure what they are, they are the white (or other fancier kinds) and spin around like a lazy susan, you can have a single or double-tier one for spices.
  • Personal - Magazines and Internet
    I love to look at magazines and the internet for good articles on personal development, pictures for decorating inspiration and fun projects to do with my family. I keep my magazine subscriptions to a minimum (3) so I can read them and enjoy each one. I look for things on some of my favorite websites for whatever fancies me at that time.
  • Online Recipe Boxes
    Use these on some of your favorite websites, bring the laptop into the kitchen while the recipe is up and you never have to have the paper clutter. One of my and my husbands favorites is Williams-Sonoma.

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