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English: A Sleeping moon in a cap.

See how peaceful Sleeping Moon is?  (English: A Sleeping moon in a cap. Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Accurate arithmetic and a good night’s sleep go hand in hand.

Lola is almost 2 years old.  I don’t really remember what it’s like to have 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  The amount of sleep one gets affects stress levels, concentration and even metabolism.  For me, it affects how I balance my checkbook.

This evening I checked my bank balance.  We have a family vacation coming up and I wanted to make sure that I had enough in my checking account to pay for things like Cheetos and gum.  You know, essentials.

Imagine my severe consternation when I saw my bank balance.  $0.00

This can’t be right. I skimmed my “account activity” and cringed when I saw an overdraft fee.  I have never, ever had an overdraft fee before.  I was glad I had signed up for overdraft protection but the real question was still unanswered:  What happened here?

I reviewed my checkbook with a careful eye and checked it against my account activity.  I still didn’t see why I was so off.  My husband came in from the next room.  He heard me making strangling sounds and knew from past experience that if help didn’t come soon, there would be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  He told me to go do something else.  I have a tendency to hover over his shoulder and ask repeatedly “Did you find what’s wrong, yet?”

another version of Image:Arithmetic symbols.svg

Image:Arithmetic symbols.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An hour and a half later, Mr. Literary Tiger came back with the verdict.  I had a negative balance.  A really negative balance.  But I tried to be so careful, I said.  He proceeded to tell me how not careful I was.  Apparently, I like to do the following things which throws off my arithmetic.

  1. I like to double my deposits.  Last month, my dear mummy gave me a check.  I  deposited it and entered the transaction into my check register.  End of story, right?  Well, no.  A week or two later, I entered the transaction again which gave me additional cash that I didn’t actually have.  I did that on a couple of different deposits apparently.
  2. I forgot to subtract receipts.
  3. I sometimes lose track of whether a charge was on a credit card or debit cards.

I’m going to blame last month’s arithmetic flukes on my toddler.  One advantage of having kids is that you can blame them for a lot of things.  You know that dinner party you didn’t want to go to?  Don’t worry.  You’re probably busy driving your kids somewhere or taking the to the doctor.

In the last month, Lola’s sleep habits have changed.  She screams bloody murder if I leave the room at bedtime.  It’s like we took a huge step back in sleep training.  Here’s to hoping she goes back to normal.  Wish me luck.

How about you?  Do you get enough sleep at night? is your checkbook in perfect order?