I paid mom’s bills last week, a few of them via written check, as they were ‘one-offs,’ and taking the time to set up a vendor in order to use the bank’s bill paying service seemed silly. I finished one book of checks, and got the next one out. It was missing its first 3 checks. Getting online with the bank revealed mom had used one of the checks to move money from one bank to another sometime last year. My trusty spread sheet of voided checks found another one. It is a safe assumption that the third check was voided as well, given her history of voiding multiple checks in a row.

What’s so entertaining about this little vignette is shortly after my father passed away, mom told me, with some amount of exasperation, “It’s impossible to keep track of the unused checks! Your father would just grab the next book of checks, paying no mind whether it was numerically in sequence!” While my dad may have done that (doubtful), one of mom’s challenges, dementia aside, is that she only started paying the bills when my father’s eyesight became too weak. She had no system set up, no flow, and no way to create and retain one.

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