I have a new bank. Finally, after doing so much research my head seemed to spin, I opened a new savings and checking account at Chase Bank. They have a branch in the Dominicks grocery store where I do a lot of shopping. Plus, both the grocery branch and a brick and mortar building are within 2 blocks of the office.
They were very nice and helpful and answered all my questions. I explained my situation and what I needed. The selling point on Chase was "funds availability". I have always had problems with 5th 3rd holding my paycheck or expense check or any other direct deposited monies for at least 24-48 hours. Expense checks would be held for 5 days. The guy at Chase just sort of blinked at me and then said, "Um...we don't do that. Once you've had a test deposit go through, we know that account depositing your money and it's available that day. The only time it might be held is when it's a 5-6 figure number."
They also will help me balance my checkbook. I received a paper statement yesterday regarding my savings account. On the back was a very clear, step-by-step explanation on how to make your account agree with the statement. It even says, "If you find you cannot make this agree, please come into one of our branches where a friendly account representative can assist you."
I was shown online bill paying last week and I'm really impressed with that. I may, eventually, go that route for all my bills. When you pay a bill, it's automatically deducted from your account. I like that because then my check register matches my account. I may decide to online pay most of my bills, but we'll see. Carole will testify that I resisted a debit card for years. Now, I can't imagine not having one.
Chase was, maybe still is, having a promotion where you get a card in the mail that will reward you with $100 for setting up a new checking account with them. I got the card AFTER I set up my account. I figured I'd get a run around about including this $100. Nope. The guy took the card, typed in the numbers and I got the $100.
He also changed my debit card to one that is going to work better for me. The most popular card rewards you for gas, fast food, groceries and coffee, up to 3% back straight into your checking account, assuming you spend $500 a month on those items. I don't spend that much. Even if I have to put gas in the Jeep AND buy groceries, it's never over $500 a month. So, the new debit card will give me 1% back on everything I buy. As I'm facing car repairs soon, that will be a chunk of change.
I have my writing earnings deposited directly into my new savings account. That showed up over the weekend. It was very nice to see and made me feel that I was actually a published author.
So, another step on the road back to not feeling as if the world is collapsing in on me. I was able to send Carole some money for flowers for the front of her house and I loaned Rodney $20 for gas. I have not been able to do this in at least 6 months. I don't have much but being able to do this makes me feel richer than ever.
Beverage: Scottish Blend tea