It’s not him, it’s me


I lent my, and my family’s only, credit card here in the USA to my husband about 2 weeks ago to pay the vet. I haven’t asked for it back. Such great timing, I thought, because we decided to use cash this month, use debit if we must, and to leave the credit card at home.

There hasn’t been any transaction in that card since. So…hey…wait a minute.

Was it me? Has it always been just me? Only me who was doing the damage, err, spending?

We make joint decisions on non-grocery purchases so part of me believes I shouldn’t take the blame, but I can’t help it. I was fully aware of every transaction that appears in every statement.

Image from fotolia.com

At the beginning of our relationship, I promoted myself to money manager. He surrendered to me, you could say that. I reigned him in because I thought he spent frivolously. We introduced personal allowance, which we still practice. (By the way, it helps us feel that we have SOME control of our OWN salaries.) So now, it turns out, I need to be reigned in.

So…we’ve turned into each other before we met each other? Huh? What? Wot.

This is a big (not to mention nasty) reality to swallow, you know. I’m the budgeter for crying out loud. I really don’t know why I pushed for buying our toddler a new bike (with side supports) for $200. (Please don’t judge me!). I don’t know why I kept wanting to get take-out when the real reason was really wanting to be out and about, socializing, etc.

I’ve worked so hard since last year to be independent of credit, and yet I’m abusing it again. Just so you know, I decided to get a credit card here to “build my credit”. Being new to the country, I have no credit history and any financial institution barely “know” me. I wish I just got a miles card. I probably wouldn’t feel so bad.

Okay, just to clear, last month wasn’t exactly spend-for-shopping-for-ourselves month. A big chunk of our discretionary money went towards paying off the Visa. Spends that took place in summer just had to get paid and having waited until end of fall to do that was just a reckless decision.

So, back to spending REAL money this month, though it actually started last month. We haven’t bought take-out food nor ate out since Halloween. Wow. Really wow!

Need more evidence of identity


I tried to open an account with ING Direct but I was declined because I lack enough evidence of identity. My SSN doesn’t prove enough.

I was told that maybe I could try again after having lived in this country for 6 or so months, but the person I spoke to said that a credit card or a loan could prove my identity easily.

Really???

I find that ridiculous!

My family has no debt here except for my husband’s student loan. That means we can save money faster = putting more money in their bank.

You could try making him the primary account holder and you being a joint holder would be an easier route.

Because my husband is a citizen. Sucks. So I’m gonna sour grape and say:

I’d rather bank with my credit union anyway.

Check, please!


Banking was the first thing that I wanted to learn about America when Jonno and I decided to move here. In the countries that I lived in, electronic banking was the way to go. I was sure that USA wasn’t behind for sure, but it was here that I first wrote a paper check.

I’m serious!

It’s a bit odd. It was also here that I was first asked if I preferred direct deposit for my paycheck. It was never an option since I started working 12 years ago. And I started my first job in a third world country.

I’m still ever surprised to see cafés and shops here that accept checks. How’s that ensuring that the account is funded? Today I thought of keeping a checkbook in my bag if I run into a store or café that doesn’t accept a debit or credit card.

I’m a big fan of electronic banking. It’s not only convenient, but I have a compulsion for organization. No, it’s not OCD.