Monday, April 28, 2008

Something I bought, something I didn't

1 - We had some money at Radio Shack because I'd spent $60 on an emergency radio/lights thing, which I think we need in Kansas but DW didn't. So she returned it, we had some credit and we bought a new DVD player, because ours had crapped out. I wanted to hook the audio to both the TV and the stereo, but there was only one audio output on the back of the player, so I went back to Radio Shack to look for some sort of junction so I could take the signal from the DVD and send it to both places. The best they could do was a $50 switcher. I walked out of the store and then said, Hey, why don't I just put it into the stereo and forget about feeding the sound through the TV? So I accomplished the need with a $6 coupler that let me extend the cords from the DVD to the stereo.

2 - I took over the bill paying when we moved here, I don't really know why. I've been doing a lot of it online but have been having a heck of a time keeping track of everything using the checkbook. I'll start even, but within a month or two I'll be off, like really off, like $500 off in the checkbook, plus or minus, with no idea how I got there no matter how long I stare at the statement. So I gave up on doing it that way and spent $30 on a basic Quicken, so I can do it on the computer. You enter all the purchases, all the deposits, all the bill paying, and it does the balancing for you. I'm sure it has other capacities, like maybe keeping track of where I am with the credit cards, but I'm not sure yet.

What I don't like about it so far is that it didn't download the pending transactions (i.e. purchases I've made with the debit card but which haven't cleared yet), which are posted on the on-line banking but which I had to enter manually. It also gives me 3 different balances - what the bank says now, what I have pending currently, and everything that's entered to be paid through the end of next month, which is pretty misleading. So I'll have to play around with it to make sure it's giving me an accurate sense of where things are. But I think in the long run it'll be worth it, especially since it'll automatically tell me if I neglected to put something into the checkbook, which was probably the source of my troubles all along.

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