I recently came across an online article that asked the question If your credit card could talk, what would it say? The author admitted he temporarily fell for a spoof that claimed Visa had introduced a new product called Visa Voice. He then runs with the theme to propose his ideas on what such a product should say if it did exist. This triggered in my mind today’s topic.

What does your checkbook say about you? The late Christian financial counselor, author, and speaker Larry Burkett made the argument that one’s checkbook can tell others more about them than anything they say. If one claims to be charitable, would their checkbook provide proof of their claim? If you claim to be a saver, does your checkbook support that point? You see, better than words or a picture, our checkbook is a historical record of what we have done with our income. It paints a picture of who we are.

I have had the privilege of teaching adults and students how to better manage their finances. Many of the adults are asked to complete a budget for the first time in their life. In doing so, they have no idea how much money they spend on certain categories each month. To prepare the most accurate budget possible, they must review where they have spent money in the past. Obviously, a review of the checkbook register is in order. Through this exercise, they become aware of exactly what their financial past looks like. Most are appalled at what they find. They see though their checkbook who they really are.

How about you? Do you know who you are? To find out, take out your checkbook and see if it shows who you think you are. Make sure to go back several years if possible. If necessary, make a plan to change who you are. Become who you wish to be. Do you see all the payments for things like cars, student loans or credit cards? Want to get rid of them? Make a plan, act upon it, and watch the number of checkbook entries for debt payments reduce over time. Want to save more? Identify areas in your checkbook where you can cut back then watch as your savings book balance increases while the entries for those negative areas decreases.

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