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Testing Our Willpower

July 3rd, 2008 at 12:22 pm

Well, I was in between loads of laundry and dishes today, and decided to go ahead and make out BF's student loan payment.

Then I decided that since I hadn't really balanced our checking account in a week, I'd go ahead and do that, and then make out the rent check too.

So what did I find out when I looked at our account online? It was about $500 less than I thought!!! I was in shock for a second, because not only is rent due in two days, but we won't have a paycheck coming in for another week! So as my face began to get hot, I tried to figure out what the heck went wrong.

Thankfully, we hadn't made such a huge error that we were really $500 short. At BBT online, it shows you your "current balance" and your "available balance". The available is the amount you actually have to use, when you take into account all the "pending" transactions that have some of your money "on hold".

Usually these pending transactions are things like gas or grocery purchases, and within a few days they are posted to the actual account balance and everything is equal again.

Two of our pending transactions are from the online pet stores that I had attempted to order our pup's new crate from. The first one was the online-only store. We had decided to go ahead and purchase from there and pay shipping (before we knew BF was going to start work in TWO days), but then it wouldn't let us finish the transaction because we were using BF's debit card, and the addresses didn't match. I guess he still has his address listed as our old state, and that didn't match the shipping address, so it wouldn't let us use the card.

So, before digging out my card to use, I decided we should just wait. The next day, BF found out about his job and we ordered the crate from PetSmart. Later in the day, I found out that I could special order it through my work and it would be cheaper still. I called and was able to get the PetSmart order cancelled.

So guess what the $500 was missing for? Two transactions from PetSmart and MuttMart. They were from 6/29 and 6/30, which is weird because usually it only takes 24 hours for them to clear or post to the account. One was cancelled, the other was never placed, and yet they BOTH are holding $200+ apiece from our account.

I called the local branch, and she agreed that it was weird that they hadn't cleared or posted yet. But apparently there is really nothing they can do about it at the bank, I just have to wait for the two vendors to clear. Right now, I am PRAYING that they're gone by Saturday, because that's when rent is due.

If not, I have no idea what we are going to do. I really don't want to have to get a cash advance check from one of my credit cards. Even if we pay it back at the end of the month, that is still interest and stress.

And to top it all off, I had about $260 worth of checks that I wanted to deposit today. I looked up directions to the nearest BBT (10 miles away), and set out. 30 minutes later, I was still looking for the darn place. Gas wasted, time spent, and I am back at home with the checks still.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

And now the challenging part... as of right now, we have $83 in my old checking account. The BBT account won't be able to be used until those transactions clear and I can deposit those checks.

BF & I will both need gas tomorrow, and we also need to pick up some food and other stuff for before my family gets here. Of course, the old trusty credit cards are laying in my wallet waiting to be used.

That would be the easy way, to use them for purchases until it's straightened out and then hope we didn't spend too much. BUT, I hope we can exercise some willpower and determination, and get by on that $83 until we have the rest to run on. That will mean limiting our purchases at Walmart for food & other stuff, and only getting about $20 apiece in gas for now.

Ugh. It is times like these that I like to kick myself for my past financial mistakes. But there's no going back, so we can only try to do better. Wish us luck.

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