Written by Nancy Malcolm
Boo and I have been married for fifteen years and while we rarely disagree, the main times we do are when he tries to tell me something I already know.
Because this isn’t our first marriage, we decided from the beginning to have separate checking accounts. I feel very strongly about my money management skills and my ability to handle my affairs. But, so does he.
He is so old school that he still wants to receive his paycheck in the mail so he can deposit it himself.
“Direct deposit feels risky,” he says. “So many things could go wrong, and besides, I like to see and feel my money.”
The man doesn’t even use an ATM machine. He withdraws his cash from the drive-through bank cashier or he goes inside the bank to speak with a real person.
Once, I tried to show him how to deposit a check using his phone and I thought he was having a heart attack. When I explained how easy it was and that he could just check his account at any time, he begged me to stop. “That’s crazy! Someone could just hack in and take all of our money.”
“Yes, but that’s why you have passwords and safety features. I’m telling you this will save you time and the stress of driving to the bank,” I said.
Boo just shook his head, “I don’t know you anymore. You’re just willy-nilly with this online banking shenanigans. I like real people, not machines and phones,” he said and added, “You charlatan!”
Needless to say, our household bills are divided between the two of us. Boo pays his bills the same day they arrive in the mail, and although I have never been withdrawn or had a late fee, he worries that I will forget or miss a payment.
“Don’t forget to pay the mortgage,” says the worrywart.
“I see the mortgage payment is here,” says Mr. Passive aggressive.
“You know there’s only a five day grace period for the mortgage,” he scolds.
Seriously, the mortgage just arrived in the mail and he says all of this during the first twenty-four hours.
I have NEVER forgotten to pay the mortgage or any bill, but he cannot trust my process.
I have to admit, sometimes I let it sit out just to make him ask questions and sweat a little. If he gives me cash for something or just slips me a twenty, he will worry and watch until that twenty-dollar bill is safely in my wallet. “All of my bills face the same direction,” he proudly proclaims. “That way I can tell at a glance how much money I have.”
“I’m happy for you, Wells Fargo.” I egg him on, while secretly mine are too.
He saves all of his change and is keeping it in one of those old, large water cooler bottles. Once I put some extra coins into the jug, thinking he would be happy and he completely freaked out because I had included pennies. He only likes silver.
The man has money hidden in all kinds of places. I’m quite sure that the garage alone has a couple hundred and his desk is probably packed with wads of cash hidden in the bottom of drawers or folded in stashed envelopes. I haven’t checked between the mattresses yet, but I wouldn’t rule it out. His cash hoarding is endearing and yet perplexing. But one thing is absolutely true; he is generous and loves giving gifts, especially to his grandkids. His heart is pure gold. (or should I say silver.)
It must be hard to be Boo and have so many rules about money. He stresses a lot because he wants to be in total control and secretly, I guess I do too. But, my Boo is a fabulous money manager and even if his practices are antiquated; even if he causes me angst, and questions my techniques; he is thrifty, loyal, helpful, kind and brave just like a Boy Scout. He’s my JPMorgan and Citi Bank all rolled into one.