Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Self-analysis, day three...

.. in which I reveal my totally.. wait, positive language.. less-than-healthy relationship with money.

The Saga (mid-April): got $145 cheque from hoop student, deposited cheque, paid bills and spent remainder of money. (normal) Following week, went to deposit another work cheque, and the bank machine told me to contact customer service. I do, and am told that the cheque was stale-dated (older than 6 months, not eligble for deposit) AND in US funds. (wtf?) As a result of the now-bouncing cheque, and having been at $0 already, my account is now -$165, FROZEN, and will remain so until I have deposited enough to bring it into the black, and have it sit there for five business days.


So, took me a number of days to get cash from the student, after confirming that the amount had indeed not been removed from her account... and of course, since I'd been cash-less for those days, I promptly had things to spend the money on rather than depositing it and having to wait a week to get at it.

Last week, I had enough other work cheques to toss in and get through the waiting period (while living off my VISA, which was a very negative feeling since I'm training myself to not think of it as cash...)... but today, more than five business days past the day I deposited it, I attempted to pay bills online and couldn't.

Phone customer service, "Can I please have access to my account again.." - yes, gets done. "Can you explain what 'overdraft protection fee' that I got charged is, if I was left 'unprotected'?" - sure, bit of a semantics problem.. "Hm.. can you tell me if I'm eligible for overdraft protection so this doesn't happen again?" - ten questions and one credit check later, No.

Took me a couple hours to get over the negative, self-beating-up-ness that I always get in, when I am reminded that I have poor credit... I acknowlege that it is my own damn fault, and I can point at exactly the things that keep my rating low... but I have no grokking of WHY I can't fix this.. and that, in itself, is frustrating.

I'm a smart person. I can DO things if I set my mind to them. Why is money management so hard?

(okay, giving myself some credit here: I've supported myself [mostly] since high school, I've got a roof over my head, food in the bathtub, clothes that I like, I know where rent is coming from... I'm doing alright)

I'm kinda curious about what sort of childhood training/exposure we're missing ('cause I know Heather is in a similar boat), to have this bizarre relationship with finances, when MomnDad are so.. functional. *shrug*

Ah well... I'm going to see if I can find a 'finances for dummies who are too lazy to follow the steps in the Finances for Dummies book' book. Wish me luck.

Finances are hard, X, because you're a Virgo (just like myself and Darren). I have exorbitant amounts of credit (damn MBNA. Want a new car? Here have a card with $24K limit at 7%. Permanently! No, I didn't buy the new car on a credit card :)) and it takes ALL my effort and willpower to NOT use them. They often sit in the safe at home and are only brought out for special occasions (read: online shopping). It also takes all my willpower to stop and ask myself (and Darren), "Do I (you) REALLY need this?"

And Darren? He just doesn't care. Hence, marginal credit rating.

So blame your sign. I do :)
Blame the generation and something we never learned in school... because I suck at it too. Doesn't help that we live in an instant gratification society... and why save when you can get it now on account and pay later.

After years of wrestling with my marginal credit rating I finally had to do a ot of research and learn things about it that I never even knew before. Now I'm like a tiger shark with my credit.... but I still get spendy, and can't seem to have anything left over when all is said and done.
I'm not alone!!

Heh.. its nice to hear that stuff, actually, 'cause I'm surrounded by people who own real estate and have savings and live frugally but can go on big trips...

Thanks, y'all :)
You keep your food in the bathtub?
My family has never really had the option of saving money (underpaid single mom, dad retired at a very young age because of complications with type I diabetes, etc.), but somehow my brother developed into a money-saving and low-risk-investing mastermind. He saves and saves and saves and saves and is somehow in a situation right now whwere he owns a house and a car and tens of thousands of dollars worth of expensive camera and stereo equipment, and yet he's still got bundles of savings. At the same time, he is very careful about spending money on frivolous things, so that just seems to be the key. I, however, have the "my bank account seems to be building since I started working full time...what do I do with it all? Hmm, buy a scooter." gene. No matter how much coaching I get, I still don't have that drive to invest.

Maybe we should all take some kind of course. Or maybe you could pass me that financing for dummies book once you're finished.

p.s. mom and dad are both virgos, brother and i are both aquarians. seems to me that male aquarians are "cheapos" and female aquarians are "money-thrower-awayers" but who knows, really.
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