I am in a relationship with money whether I want to believe it or not.

by Meredith Resnick

I hold onto my paychecks for weeks before depositing them. I, ahem, hoard them.

My most recent transgression of this nature occurred on New Years Eve day. I had the vague notion, as I was about to sit down and type my last invoice of 2009 for freelance work (I’m a writer and editor), that I’d not deposited the last checks I’d received. I opened my wallet. There I discovered not one but two paychecks wadded up, hidden behind a thicket of cash register receipts that needed to be tossed.

I unwrinkled the checks and looked at the dates. I was aghast when I realized I’d been holding on to a lot of money for a relatively long period of time—close to three weeks. I felt an urgency to get the checks into the bank before the clock struck midnight but I’m afraid had it not been the end of the year both might still be in my possession, crammed into my wallet, paycheck hoarder that I am.

I grew up hearing stories about my Depression-era relatives’ “Bank of Mattress” and how one aunt and uncle’s attempt to hoard their money in the basement was foiled by a torrential rainstorm and subsequent flood. What fools they were—right? But in some ways, their style of hoarding might make more sense than the style I describe above. Think about it: At least they actually had their money, soggy or not, in hand. I just have a couple of proxies that are of no use until they get deposited into my account.

I think this paycheck hoarding represents a certain disrespect I have for money, my way of showing it it’s not that important to me, as though I could cut myself off from its nastiness. One way I ignore money is by not depositing it. This is also how I try to believe/act like I don’t need money—or want it. (More on that topic soon.) But I do need a certain amount to live—and—and this is hard for me to admit—want a certain amount to enjoy on top of what I need. One way I’m going to dedicate myself to that reality is by depositing my checks in a timely matter, within 72 hours of their arrival in the mail.

So, here is the first money truth of the money study: I am in a relationship with money whether I want to believe it or not.

Meredith

PS: Read more about The Money Study here.

Great news! This portion of The Recovering Creative will soon have a new home (address to follow) and a new name: The Money Study. More to be revealed. For now, enjoy the posts right here.


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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom McCranie

Interesting, my Dad had the same proclivity. He had been through the Depression and he saved his paychecks even though he knew he would get more for it if he put it in a bank savings account. He continued until my brother started working in bank and convinced Dad to do otherwise. I can’t say that happiness followed, but Dad seemed in a better frame of mind more often.

Alisa Bowman

Ah, I like “the money study.” So true, this particular post. I, too, like to think that I don’t need money. And then I start checking stock prices or my bank balances…

Kim Hooper

I think we’re all in a relationship with money whether we want to believe it or not. Like you said, even shoving it away some place expresses a relationship. This was a really interesting post :)

Alexandra

I look forward to reading more. I have the opposite reaction though. After years of having no checks to deposit, I can’t wait to get the money received from guests at my B&B into the bank!

MarthaandMe

I always race to the bank to deposit checks when I get them. I don’t feel happy until I’ve deposited them. So I guess that’s what my relationship with money is like – needy!

sarah henry

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we freelancers could have our checks direct deposited upon acceptance? Dream on…

Amy Wallen

Funny, I just had the same thing happen on the day this post came out, but before I had read it. I opened my desk drawer to pull out my deposit slip booklet to prepare to deposit several checks I had received for editing, and in the drawer were three more that I had forgotten about. This is not to say I have enough money to not worry. Quite the opposite. But it seems like the less money I have the more I batten down the hatches. I also had a client pay me by Pay Pal recently and I was somewhat unnerved by how fast the money arrived in my account. As though I needed time to process what was due to me. BUT, all this to say, anyone who is reading this that writes me a check–don’t think I don’t notice when the check is late. Hmm. Yes, a relationship it is.

Tiffani

Ah, money. Because of some changes coming to my work life, I’ll be paying much closer attention to my bank balance this year. I look forward to reading more from you!

Sheryl

Meredith, Quite an interesting topic to tackle. Looking forward to following your progress!

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