I was going to head out for lunch today and swing by the grocery to get cat treats. I hop online and check out my checking account.
What? I...I don't understand. I double, triple, quadruple check my numbers. I don't count on float. But there it was, last night. I was overdrawn.
Early Friday, I received notice that my expense check from my company had been deposited in my checking account. It showed up on Saturday as "Pending". It was not officially posted to my account until this morning. In the meantime, three checks went through and the last one bounced. I was socked with a $74 fee for being overdrawn. I have $38 in my account. That's it. Period. Where do I find $36 to cover what's coming? I guess I close my meager savings account, $53.66, and hope I do not have any kind of emergency. None.
A friend has told me to march into the bank and demand to know why they held my expense check. The email notice says it can take "up to" 2 business days to clear. Had my check cleared, this would not be an issue. I don't understand why it was posted this late. My paycheck is available the day it's deposited. The expense check gets held. I'm tired, so very, very tired, of fighting this battle again and again. This is not banking reform. $74 is not reform. From those of us with very little, much is taken. I don't feel I can ever, ever get ahead in any form.
A dear friend loaned me money around Thanksgiving to get away from this bank, to start anew. I have never told her, although she's quite savvy and probably knows it, that I used the money to survive. I needed gas and had no credit. "Well, I'll just take $30 of this for gas." I was out of food. "I'll just take $60 of this for food." Gradually, in spite of my best intentions, the sum she loaned me went to live on. Stamps, cat food, gas, me food. That's all. I never bought Christmas gifts or cards or ordered out for pizza. I sunk all my funds into trying to dig out and used the loaned money to live off of thinking it would get me ahead and I would be able to repay her loan and get away from my current bank once I got everything caught up.
It's a fallacy. The check that bounced is to a credit card company who has been very nice about working with me. You can imagine the fees that are going to come from that. I tried so hard and I feel kicked in the head. I think I have a little credit tucked away, credit I have rebuilt after shutting everything down in October. I can get my cats some treats. I was going to get garbage stickers once all the outstanding checks cleared. Can't do that.
I was going to do a post assessing my luck as it's been a month since I declared an attempt to change my outlook. I can't. Not today.