By: Revanche

Complicated bank transactions

August 14, 2009

FB’s post on keeping up with her credit card transactions explains a very similar technique I used when my family was still involved in my finances.

They had credit card debt, half of which had been balance-transferred to my name, they had regular rent/utilities bills which weren’t always covered by their income, they had loans from me, the list ran on for some length.

My finances became this huge non-linear web: income (mine) – outflow (mine) – income (parents) – outflow (theirs) + income (mine) to cover their outflow – outflow (brother’s) + income (mine) to cover his inadequate or non-existent income.

To make things even more complicated, there were debts I’d forgiven, there were new debts accumulated, there was irregular income, irregular overtime, and periods of non-payment. The budgeting calendar was a hot mess!

Eventually, the best way to coordinate things during the time before business credit cards (to divide and track our purchases by user) was to tally each deposit and outgoing check by highlighter and separate transactions.

Every single payment from the family was labeled by name (Dad), amount ($50), reason (loan), and type (cash). While the check ledger was never reconciled in the traditional sense, each outgoing cash loan was recorded, and later struck through once a payment was recorded and
color-coded.

Nowadays, payments are only bundled when I’m scheduling them for bills to be paid out within the same week, preferably in the same day.


As long as a quick glance shows that each transaction is accounted for, I don’t have to worry about running short on funds, overdrawing, or any such thing. Saves me time and fuss, it’s my form of automation.

Ms. Ginger touched on this yesterday in her combo confessional and fix-it post. She and I must be channeling each other this week. 😉

2 Responses to “Complicated bank transactions”

  1. eemusings says:

    Gosh, that IS confusing. I went cross eyed trying to follow your explanation! Keeping track of my money is confusing too; one of my flatmates pays his rent in cash and both flatmates are behind on bills. I pay them out of savings and replenish once they pay me back. I only have the one savings account for both longterm and short term stuff – really need to open up a couple more to make life easier for myself. Although, my bank now lets me put a reference on transfers between my own accounts, which is going to be a HUGE help 🙂

    Like FB, I used to religiously pay back my Visa every time I made a purchase. I’d make a note in my phone everytime I spent, and how much. Now I tend to do it weekly, in chunks, which I have to admit can be a tad confusing. I did, however, notice this week I was double-charged for two purchases last Wednesday. It’s never happened to me before…hoping it will be sorted quickly, I’m inclined to think it’s a bank glitch rather than the merchant’s, because it’s TWO transactions, both from the same afternoon.

  2. Revanche says:

    eemusings: I was just thinking that I needed Visio to try and flowchart the mess. Except it’d still be a mess!

    When I do the weekly chunks, I try to make a note in my planner of the amounts so I can reference it again later. Sometimes it helps 🙂

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