You may be wondering why I'm all excited about highlighters. It may bring back college or high school days, as you marked up books and notes with yellow highlighters to focus on the, well, highlights. It seems I never run out of things to highlight!
Last summer, my bank information was stolen, along with that of many other people, by an employee of a check verification company. Not quite as bad as identy theft, but certainly the first step towards it. I immediately called my credit card companies, and went to the bank to get new account numbers. It was a little complicated by the fact that I pay a lot of bills on-line, and a lot of them are set up as automatic transfers. It would have been really horrible without the help of my caring and calming bank branch manager.
About two months later, I realized that my checkbook was about $1000 off from my bank statement. Now, I go on-line at least three times a week to see what has gone through my account, and if anything is pending, and I usually use a calculator to subtract in my checkbook, since I don't trust my "functionally impaired" (from illness) mental ability to subtract anymore. But I couldn't find the error.
I took my check registers to my branch manager, and left them with her overnight. By the next day, she had everything sorted out and had found my stupid errors. She asked if I compare my register to the bank statement each month, and I had to admit that I don't; I look to see if it's about the same as what my check register shows for that month, and it usually is, and since I do check the account on line, it seemed like a waste of time. She told me it was something I really should start practicing (and heaven knows, I'm not getting any sharper with age!)
She showed me her method. She uses a different colored highlighter with each month's statements, and highlights the register and the statement to show the deposits and withdrawals and checks that have come through. It makes it really easy to see what hasn't come through, so it's easy to compare my balance to the bank's balance. I only had yellow highlighters at the time, which is fine for one month, but will get confusing the next month. I didn't want to pay office supply store prices for highlighters I'll hardly use, so I went to my Plan B, the Dollar Tree (my favorite of the many dollar stores in town). I got this 5-pack of different colored highlighters for $1. I've used a different color each month, and am about to start over again with the first color. They'll be good for another month each, at least, if not two months, so that $1 investment is providing me with a year of services. And it really does make it easier to balance my statement!
I should mention that they're not the most ergonimcally-designed writing utensil to grip, but for the little bit I use them, they're just fine. And at 5 for $1, I'm not complaining.