Thursday, August 22, 2019
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what’s your plan? Scott Arens

Back on Feb. 11, 1991, the American country music band Diamond Rio released its song titled “Meet in the Middle.” It went on to become one of the group’s Number one songs and would rank Number 16 on the Year-end Chart of Billboard’s Country Songs. It makes a very simple statement about two people discovering love and eventually marrying; you can do great things together. First there is mutual agreement and specifically here, it was meeting in the middle under the old Georgia pine. This illusory tree stands as a reminder that if we don’t see eye to eye that we should work together and build from a foundation of common ground.

I recently got myself drawn into a debate over bank accounts. Because of all things comprising this column, I was somewhat obliged to participate. A quick summation of the argument was if a person should have one. As usual, I didn’t make myself well liked because my ground was that neither side’s points were good enough for a valid argument. I dug even deeper when I expressed that both were wrong from where I was standing.

A checking account is a good tool to help you keep track of the money you have on hand. Contrary to popular belief, the number of checks one has in the checkbook has no correlation to the money in the account. One does not have the right to write a check based on their fallacy that they have printed checks and, therefore, money to spend. This gets someone quickly into a bad situation of being overdrawn and deeper still with the payment of penalty fees to your financial institution and to the person whom the bad check was written.

Deposits and withdraws are an excellent means of tracking cash. We have been trained to go out and make a living by trading our time for money and very seldom do we look for different or additional avenues to create cash flow. A bank account can assist in tracking your money. I would like to see everyone with multiple checking accounts and monitoring multiple cash flows. Savings accounts should be just that, for saving money (another thing we aren’t doing today). Money in these accounts can provide the emergency fund we all should have for good money management. Unfortunately, they aren’t a great way to grow money because of their low interest rates.

Managing your money should never be a hassle. Create a mindset of growth financially as well as in all areas of your life. There is a benefit to local banking in that it is near, convenient, and you’re dealing with neighbors. Internet banks are growing in popularity. One reason is the offering of higher interest rates on savings. I hope that you quickly get to a point with your money that it doesn’t make any sense keeping it in a low interest-bearing account. Also, never develop the attitude that dealing with your accounts is too much hassle.

I’m going to listen to Diamond Rio’s “Meet in the Middle” and grow another checking account. ■

— Scott Arens is a lifelong resident of Arbuckle. To contact Scott email scott@arenscp.com

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