Friday, May 31, 2013

Mo Money, Mo Problems? No. Less Money, Mo Problems

Let me take you back to a simpler time. The year was 1997. Hong Kong was handed back to China from England. Bill Clinton was inaugurated for his second term as President and Madeleine Albright became the first female Secretary of State. We said goodbye to Mother Teresa and hello to Rebecca Black (although we didn't know the horrors she would release on our world for many years). I turned 12. And Notorious B.I.G taught us that "mo money" led to "mo problems". Not to hate on Biggie, but I have recently learned that it's actually "less money, mo problems". I will admit that his title flows much better than mine.

Just a few posts ago (Vroom Vroom), I explained the hell my car (and mostly Don Jacobs Honda) has been putting me through this year. My car must have read the post or something because it decided to get me once more. I was checking my bank balance online yesterday to see if my paycheck had been deposited yet (side note, it had not despite the fact that it is supposed to be deposited on the 15th and 30th of each month and maybe if it had deposited on time some of this hot mess could've been avoided). I was shocked to discover that my checking account balance was negative. I don't know much about finances, but I know that a negative balance is not ideal. But what had happened? I'm usually very good about balancing my checkbook and I'd done so just the other day before buying a new camera to take to China in July. I was supposed to have $80 or so in there.

My friend Laurel doesn't call me Sherlock Holmes with a Better Rack for nothing; I did some investigatory work and discovered that I had not recorded my most recent tire purchase...that was no small chunk of change either. So that had done it. Now, some people would see this as being my mistake...I can see how you might come to that conclusion. But, you've clearly forgotten that the villain of this story is Don Jacobs so I'll be blaming them (because, why not?).

Of course I had no idea of the negative balance because my bank didn't call me or anything so I'd used my debit card twice more. And thanks to all the other car crapola, I'd had to use the majority of my savings to cover that which means I didn't have enough in my savings to cover the mistake. Hello overdraft charges. I've had two overdraft charges at $32 a pop. So, that's fun. One of the overdraft charges was on a charitable donation; talk about no good deed going unpunished. The other overdraft charge is much more ridiculous and embarrassing.

I went to the mall the other day and I found myself really wanting a cookie. Let's not even touch the fact that I'm not supposed to eat gluten and eggs. I really wanted that stinking cookie and I was going to have it because that's how I roll. I went on over to the Great American Cookie Company and got myself a cookie. I thought I had cash but it turns out I didn't have enough on me. I would typically interpret that as a sign to not eat the cookie, but the girl had already packaged it and everything so I didn't want to be a pain (plus I really wanted it). $3.19 on the old debit card, no big deal. I was wrong. YES big deal because that stupid cookie cost me $35.19 when all was said and done. I take it back; that cookie wasn't stupid, it was delicious.

So this whole situation isn't my fault. It's not my car's fault. And it isn't the cookie's fault. Yep, I'm still blaming Don Jacobs. They are my El Niño for the time being. They are responsible for all the bad things ever. Also they're stupid and I hate their faces. They are Bad News Bears.

I did get one letter from my bank yesterday and another today informing me of the two overdrafts on my account. Letters. In 2013, my bank seems to think that snail mail is the most effective way to tell me that I'm spending money I don't have. How ridiculous is that? I've got an online account with them, they have my email address and my phone number. Let's not forget that emails and phone calls are free whereas letters are not. That's the whole reason the USPS is suffering; why pay to send something that takes a couple of days when you could just do it all immediately and for free? Maybe my bank is devoted to keeping the mail running. Well, good for them. I sure am happy they're taking a stand (sarcasm).

I've been periodically checking the App Store to see if my bank had a mobile app so that I could monitor my accounts with the precision and obsession of any good OCD sufferer, but up to this point there was no such luck. While I was on hold with them today, I heard an ad for their mobile app. Naturally I downloaded it and got all that squared away. But again, why had they not informed me about the app? An email, an announcement on the website or even a letter would've done the trick. Come on, bank.

Needless to say, lesson learned on my part. And now I've got multiple methods of overdraft protection and backup protection. What a fun start to summer!

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