Sunday, September 30, 2007

Seeing (in the) Red

I got out of work today at 6pm and felt pretty lazy. I had to make a stop at CVS and, after some back and forth, decided to go to McDonald's next door for dinner. I had a little wiggle room in my grocery budget and figured food can equal groceries, for one night at least. I pulled into the drive-thru and ordered myself a value meal.

When I pulled up to the window, I handed the high school girl my debit card. I watched her swipe it once, twice, call her manager over and then turned to me and said "I'm sorry, your card isn't working." My heart sunk. I could feel all the blood in my body rushing to my cheeks. I looked back in my wallet, thought about grabbing a credit card & decided not to. I told the girl, "Sorry. Can you please cancel my order?" shifted into drive and hightailed it out of there.

How could this happen??? I couldn't get that thought out of my head. I drove straight to the bank, squealed into the drive-up ATM and quickly checked my balance. Impatiently, I waited for the magic number to pop up on the screen. -$818.11! When it did, I shouted at the machine, "Are you KIDDING me?? What is going on here?" I raced home to check my activity online.

Running through my head on the 6 minute drive was whether I had bought anything since the last time I checked my balance on Friday, when it was $728.39. Nope, nothing. I logged in, saw the online available balance was the same red number. Then saw my pending activity.

The mortgage payment is there. Dated October 1, 2007. Check your watches, ladies and gents, it's actually September 30, 2007. How did my mortgage company go into the future and take money from my bank account? Do they go for a ride with Doc Brown in the Delorean? Why is that posted already? It's pending, but still. They have put a hold on that money.

Looking back in our Quicken, there have only been 3 instances since we bought the house where the 1st of the month fell on a Monday (8/05, 5/06 & 1/07). In all 3 we have had sufficient funds in our account to cover the mortgage payment if they have pulled this before. So I don't know what's going to happen. My husband gets paid on the 1st of the month, and in recent months we have needed that paycheck to cover the mortgage as I pretty much drain the bank account to pay off our debts. This might be much ado about nothing. But I do get pretty peeved when I try to spend our money only to be told it's not there. We'll see how it all goes down tomorrow.

To be continued...


Shanti said...

Hi there. I stumbled across your blog and I just love it :D I thought I'd tell you that and say that I've added you to my google reader so I can follow you.

I don't think I have nearly as much debt as you do/did, but I'm doing my best to get through it all the same. I was over $12k in debt from 2005 until last xmas and no matter how much I paid off, it always seemed to stay the same. I took a personal vow of frugality since January and I've been paying it off MADLY since. I'm down to just under $7k at the moment with a lot of hope. Your blog is encouraging and exciting - not to mention funny. Thanks!

JvW said...

Thank you Shanti! I'm so glad you enjoy the blog. Way to go on your debt & "vow of frugality" - I like that.