When I was a much younger man, I used to round every check and withdrawal I made up, and every deposit down. The effect this had was apparent when I closed my accounts to move to sunny California. I had socked away more than a thousand dollars of bits of decimal point discrepancies. I was, initially, fooling myself. I knew how much money each check really was, and I knew that I was quietly generating a cushion for some imagined hard time when I would need all those nickels and dimes and pennies. That reality was replaced by a joint checking account that I have shared for twenty years with my wife, who does a very careful balance of our collective checkbook each month.
I had to give up that hoarding instinct, and I replaced it with another. Before I had a checking account, I had time. I set my clocks four minutes ahead of the actual time. This meant that, due to the sketchy nature of some of the timepieces in my apartment, there were four or five distinct time zones in that one bedroom dwelling. The idea behind this was to save myself time. When looking at any of those clocks, I would start to do the calculation for what the time was in the real world. The possible permutations quickly became a distraction, and so I would leave at anything that looked close to departure time. I was early for everything. You could call me a lot of things: OCD, compulsive, a worrier. But you could never call me "tardy."
After I settled down and owned a house of my own, having ceded the checkbook responsibility to my wife, I put myself in charge of the clocks. I wind them. I pull down the weights of the cuckoo clock. I reset the various digital timers after power outages. I confess that I am still somewhat mystified by the chronometer on our thermostat, but I'm working on that. Eventually, I want to command all the time in our house.
That's because I hope to have a similar experience when it comes time to settle my accounts in this world. When the Grim Reaper shows up, I want to be able to look through all those specifics and tell him I've got at least another ten years. Come back later.