Skip to main content

It's all about the money, money, money!

I spent bits and pieces of the past week gathering tax papers in "anticipation" of our accountant coming to get all our crap this weekend. On Saturday, the 1st, I could not understand why one of our banks had yet to send us an interest statement for our interest checking and money market accounts, when I had thought everything had to be in our possession by the 31st. Then an awful thought occurred to me, which I was certain could not be the case: What if we had not earned enough interest last year to actually get an interest statement from the bank? Nah, I was fairly certain you needed to earn at least $10 to get a statement, and surely we had earned that.

Spoiler alert: We did not!

This may not seem a like a big deal, but since we started saving money many years ago, we had typically earned a decent amount of interest. I know the interest rates have been quite low for the past few years, but I still thought we were making some money. So I logged into my account, and saw that for 2013, we had earned $7. What?! What the what, what?!

Just to make myself feel worse, I randomly looked at my tax return from 2007. We earned almost $500 in interest among our checking, savings, and a CD. And you know the sad thing, we actually have more money in checking and savings now (we no longer have the CD), even if it is just by a few thousand, because I had bought a car that year.

As I said to the hubby, I feel like an idiot paying interest on his (used) truck. We probably pay more in interest in a month or two on that truck (I would have to do the math, and I might cry if I do, even though our interest rate was pretty low) than what we earned in savings all of last year. Already I had been paying a payment and a half each month, sometimes more, but I am now planning to increase that amount.

But the reality is that we will need a lot of that money in savings. We really, really need to replace our roof. The hubby just this weekend informed me that our driveway is falling apart, so that needs to be black-topped. And if we expect to put our house on the market in the next few years, we have to replace our 25-year-old awful, stained carpet. And who knows how much longer our dishwasher, washer and dryer, and water heater will last. We cannot pay for those things without that money.

As bad as I feel for myself, because, as I have said many times, we live a mostly frugal life, I can't help but think of the people who pay hundreds of dollars in interest in credit card debt every month. It literally makes me twitch thinking about that. I would be pissed if I were paying $25 a month in credit card debt.

If nothing else, I actually feel better about getting a tax refund, which I am assuming we will get. People like Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey can say all they want that by getting a refund, the government is earning interest off your/my money. Well, I say good for them! Someone should be earning interest. As for me, if, fingers crossed, we get a decent return, a good part of it, maybe all of it, is going on the truck.

In the meantime, anyone have any recommendations for money market/savings accounts? Surely some bank somewhere has a better interest rate than the .01 I am earning...

Comments

Chris H. said…
I so understand where you're coming from. I, too, feel it necessary to keep cash reserves for emergencies and planned expenses, but it's hard to accept that the money is not earning you any returns. (And how is it that we're still PAYING so much in mortgage interest, even though we have a low rate after refinancing twice in the last 8 years.) Interest payments only seem to flow one way these days.
Facie said…
I just wish I knew how much I needed to have in reserves. Is eight months of expenses enough? I remember when it used to be four to six. But maybe it is a year?

I actually just got my online statement for the truck and was sickened to see that we actually pay about $50 in interest a month. I wanted to cry. As soon as I saw that, I paid a small but decent chunk of it. My goal is to pay off the truck this year. Even though we will still end up paying a lot in interest, paying it off in one year will be better than four.

But I still keep telling myself that there are people who are paying interest on things they use that day (like dinner out). I am not completely failing, I suppose!
I'm very sorry for people like you who aren't earning any money off of their savings, but on the bright side, my college loan is getting paid off so fast because of these amazingly low interest rates. So, sorry, but thank you!

Popular posts from this blog

Worry

Lately, I have had some anxiety. I have been waking up within an hour of when I fall asleep (partially because my bladder has its own timetable). And then I lie awake, worrying about various things. Mostly I worry that I am failing as a parent. I worry that I allow my child to be disrespectful to me more than she should. I worry that I am not forcing my shy child to do more things. And I worry that the few things I am pushing her to do will make her resent me. I worry that she gets stressed about school. I worry that she is bothered because she does not have a lot of friends. I worry because I don't know why that is.

I worry that we will be stuck in our house in our bad school district, a place where we would not send our child to high school when she graduates in two years (two years!). Then I worry that our somewhat introverted child will have to go to cyber school. Because there is just no way that we could afford to send her to Catholic high school, for which tuition is curren…

Why I am an "Other"

Last month while I was getting my driver's license picture taken, I tried to change my political party affiliation. For whatever reason, my choices were Democrat, Republican, Other, and None. But first, how I got there.

I registered as a Democrat when I first registered to vote, just before the '92 election. At that time, I was "kind of" liberal (for growing up in a somewhat rural area in western PA), and pretty much all of my relatives were registered that way, so it made sense. I was not really into politics at that young age, however.

As I got into my late 20s, I started to realize I was becoming more conservative, so a few years later, when it was time to renew my driver's license, I changed to Republican. I still remember the day at work when I told my coworker Anne that I was really a Republican. She told me she had known it for years. During the 2008 election, I was on board with John McCain running for president, mostly because I thought he was a good pe…

My first and hopefully my last biposy (or I would rather be at the beach)

This past Monday afternoon I had my biopsy. Up until Sunday night, I was not worried. In fact, I was never really concerned about having cancer; it was the needle part that bothered me. As it turns out, there is more than a needle; there is an actual incision. So it was not surprising that I only got a few hours of sleep. But on a positive note, I cruised right down the Parkway that morning, being the Monday before the 4th, so there was that.

I got there at the prescribed 30 minutes ahead of time; in fact, it was probably close to 35 minutes! I had to wait about 10 minutes, during which I could feel my seat vibrate (still not sure about that; I was tired but I don't think I was imaging it). Then I went back, changed, and waited in the "gowned waiting area" for no more than 5 minutes. Not even enough time to find out whose twins Jennifer Garner was pregnant with! WARNING: What follows will be detailed, though not too graphic.

Then I went back to a room, where someone as…