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Going Retro: Checking on the A8

k-Pack

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Retrofying the checking account gave me a chance to think about how much of my every day banking has changed over the last 30 years. Debit cards, ATMs, automatic deposits, automatic bill payment, automation of data entry at the window, and online banking came about after opening up my first checking account. Now that my balance is one password away I didn't even bother to keep the Transaction Register (that little book that comes with the checks) up to date.

Maybe one of the biggest changes is that an interest baring checking account was getting you over 8% interest. Thinking about the present rates just reminded me what my mother once said, "Son, if you can't think of something nice to say, don't think at all."

One of the first programs I wrote back in 1983 was a simple checkbook balancer. The 800 had 16K of RAM and a cassette drive so keeping it simple was essential. The saved data consisted of the last bank statement balance and all the tractions that had not been posted on the last statement. It was later updated to disk but never changed the data format. I'd upload it but there are much better programs that have data edit options.

Going retro has meant.

  1. Keeping the Transaction Register up to date.
  2. Entering the transaction data to the program weekly making sure Register and computer balances match.
  3. When the monthly statement comes, do an update and varifie that the new computer balance is the same as the closing balance on the statement.



I have chosen to get my statements in the mail. It seems that a printout from their printer would be a little more believable then one from mine. Plus when you figure that it will take over 100 years to make enough interest to buy a set of ink cartridges, letting them pay for the postage is much more cost effective.

After 3 months, I feel I have a better understanding of the way the money is flowing in and out of the account. I also have a better understanding of the probability of talking my wife into giving up her online banking.

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"I have chosen to get my statements in the mail. It seems that a printout from their printer would be a little more believable then one from mine. Plus when you figure that it will take over 100 years to make enough interest to buy a set of ink cartridges, letting them pay for the postage is much more cost effective."

 

That's right. I don't go for any of this eco stuff sponsored by any megacorp. It rarely benefits the consumer's wallet. Nor does it increase convenience. If they want me to go paperless, they can buy me ink.


"After 3 months, I feel I have a better understanding of the way the money is flowing in and out of the account. I also have a better understanding of the probability of talking my wife into giving up her online banking."

 

That is very correct. The manual handling of money and its records lends a physicality about it. You do indeed get a better understanding about how your account operates. It helps keep you grounded in common sense.

 

Some of the richest people I know operate manually and shun online banking as if it were the plague.

 

This is dirty hidden secret in the banking industry.

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