Financial Record-keeping in the Internet Age :: A Cautionary Tale

Recently, when my son was visiting, I was going over some “in case I die” stuff with him and I showed him a folder I have called “Non-cloud files”. In that folder, I have PDFs of all my bank statements. I don’t sync them to the cloud, but keep backups of them on local storage devices.

He kind of smiled to himself when he saw it and asked, “Don’t the banks / credit unions have these on their site, Dad?”

They do. And so do I.

I knew he felt it was overkill, but here’s an example why I do it.

Earlier this week, I decided to put some of the money I have in my HSA (health savings account) into one of the funds offered by the account management company. As I was opening the investment account, their system failed. It threw an error I’d never seen in a browser. At the end, it said, “Try again later.”

I tried later — several times — and the error persisted.

I think it was on the next day that I clicked on INVESTMENTS to try again, and this time, it took me to the investment page saying the account had been set up, but it threw a new error saying that no username was associated with the account.

I spent a good deal of time on the phone with tech support (elevating to the higher level) until they asked me to send a screen capture of what I was looking at.

I sent the message and they said they would look into it.

I am still waiting to hear back from them.

Now — Imagine that I had moved some money into that account somehow — and had no username to access it. (I know that sounds impossible, but it also sounded impossible to the high-level tech that I had an account without any username associated with it.)

How would I demonstrate that I had money in an account that I cannot access?

Today, I realized that I had never downloaded my statements from that HSA account. The only evidence that I had any money with them was the information on the website. So, I logged in and downloaded PDF statements as far back as they had them — two years. 

And I will continue my habit of having some record of my finances apart from what’s on their system — and every other system on which I have financial information.

What I Love about the Yesterday Trailer

I love this — for many reasons.

Watch it before reading my opinions.

First, I love how they say, “Write something,” and he writes Something.

Second, I love how (presumably) Paul is in bare feet, like he’s getting ready to walk across Abbey Road.

Third, I love how the girl says it’s not as good as today’s music and names a couple of artists that 50 years from now may be largely unknown, compared to how well known The Beatles are 50 years later. (Don’t argue with me about this. Just let me know if I was right when you see me in heaven.)

Fourth, I love how they say no one’s ever written this many great songs.

Fifth, I love how badly “Hey Dude” works.

Sixth, I love how this is about The Beatles. Not The Who. Not The Stones. Not The Beach Boys. Not Michael Jackson. Not even The King.

There was a magic to The Beatles that has never been paralleled.

#beatles #yesterday

Why Should I Attend Church? It Makes You More Resilient

Presented at Curwensville Alliance Church on 6/10/2018 by Pastor Steve Shields

From the series, Tools for Resilience

When I was a kid, I took guitar lessons every Thursday night. Mrs. Crate required I discipline myself to practice – every day.

And that’s all I could see. The drudgery of practice.

The songs she taught me didn’t help. Go Tell Aunt Roadie, On Top of Old Smoky, Red River Valley…. Drudgery.

And the lesson time wasn’t a real treat. Lectures on better fingering and callous development. Drudgery.

Learning guitar required discipline on my part.

Discipline without direction is drudgery.

When I went to college, something happened. I had a roommate who played the guitar. I mentioned that I always wanted to play, and he said, “I’ll teach you.”

I said, “That will be drudgery.”

He said, “No, it won’t. I’ll teach you well enough that you can make a tape and send it to Laurel.”

Suddenly, I saw purpose in the discipline. I had a direction: Learn to play well enough to play for your girlfriend!

And I learned to play.

Seeing myself playing the guitar on the back porch for Laurel – that was a direction I wanted to head.

My roommate gave me a direction that took away the drudgery.

I wish I could do that for you, in terms of corporate worship. I wish I could help you see yourself after a decade of prioritizing corporate worship.

I can’t do that, but you can.

Look at Christians whose faith you admire. You can have that.

Look at that man of prayer you wish you were like. You can be that guy.

Look at that person who walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death without fear. You can do that.

Look at that woman whose children respect and admire her. You can be her.

Part of making that happen is prioritizing corporate worship.

This podcast talks about how we can do this.