The Fiscal Cliff and Other High Places


-by Mariner Teresa

Quick – where's your electric bill? Let me guess. It’s buried in a pile of mail. No? How about this – it's on your desk buried within a pile of other stuff. Or, maybe you have it emailed to you, but it's probably buried somewhere between Land's End 30% off sale and "Drop the extra belly flab while you sleep." Worse yet, you’re not sure exactly where it is, which means it's lost in the "black hole".

Who needs to worry about the federal fiscal cliff when you're dangling off your own.

I wanted to tighten up my budgeting practices, so of course, I Googled (should that be a verb?) 'budget' and came across the blog, Budgets are Sexy, by J. Money. Now, who wouldn't be at least a little bit intrigued with a name like that? I found some really good stuff there and was pretty impressed. I came away with a little more determination to keep within a budget. I also realized that I need to pay more attention to the paper that comes in the mail sporting a due date, receipts from the Sunoco station on the corner, receipts from the grocery store (why is it that I spend $50 during a trip to pick up "just a few things," and have to do it again two days later? Am I alone in this?), the Chinese restaurant and the billion other places I go, leaving me with yet another piece of paper and less money.

As an employee of Mariner, I have all their apps. MacGourmet Deluxe is my favorite. It's not intimidating, it's inviting. It's a happy place. Then, there's Paperless. The icon sits on my dock and is a constant reminder that I need to keep within a budget and yes, do something with all those receipts, the bills that come via snail mail and the ones that are emailed. But it is also one of those apps that when I sit down and scan and file and sort and organize, and then go on a shredding spree, I feel really, really good.

The end of the year is around the corner. I'm not sure if the fiscal cliff will be avoided. I sure hope it is. If it isn't, at least I can glide gently over it with my Paperless parachute. Either way, I'm committed to staying way more financially organized, keeping to a budget and making sure that my electric bill is right where it should be – in the Utilities folder I've set up in Paperless.

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