Friday, April 06, 2012
Right before I left to bring my son to school I checked my bank account online to make sure my direct deposit of my paycheck had gone in. Well, it had, but instead of the $340 I expected to see, I see just $64.50. I stopped breathing and then when the details loaded, I gasped to see what had happened. I was hit with THREE Overdraft fees.. of $35 each! OMG! The two checks that I knew were outstanding (and had been for more than a month) finally hit the account and another one for $50 that I thought had cleared weeks ago. What are the odds that these all would hit at the same time anyhow?? But they did. At the same time, I had gone grocery shopping last night and paid by credit, expecting that my paycheck would go in before a pending transaction. Nope.. That would have been fine except that these other checks went in first and then that indicated that the groceries caused an overdraft. (I would have had enough to pay off the two checks I recalled plus the groceries BEFORE the deposit, but the one I thought had cleared which had not yet is what got me.) Actually it only showed that one as going into the red, so it didn't seem right to get three fees. I had enough money in there for all the checks and the groceries AND still $64 after $105 of fees. So, I was really trying hard not to bounce anything!!! But this was Bank of America. I have been meaning to change banks for awhile now as I can't stand their corporate policies and lately their policies for the customer have been problematic for me, too. Charging your payments first before an auto deposit as a general rule just seems wrong to me.
When I first saw the account this morning, I made the mistake of saying to my son that I guessed we wouldn't have any Easter. Naturally, he totally freaked out. Well, the thing was that today was my only time I could shop for Easter and if I had no money, I couldn't. But I should have held my tongue. I did re-state it that of course there would be an Easter (unstated- "whether or not we celebrate it with an Easter basket!) I ranted all the way to school about money. Amazingly, he had a pretty good day at school, not any worse and probably better (said the teacher) than the last couple days. So I'm glad he wasn't horribly affected by my bad mood in the morning.
I went to the bank and had to get into a better frame of mind. Despite how much I dislike the bank, I had to get the attitude that the people who work there are there to try to help the customers. I think having a totally bad attitude about it could have been a self-fulfilling prophecy. So I breathed and tried to see the people who worked there as helping me - and I got lucky. I got a great customer service rep. and she listened to me and managed to refund all three fees! So that helped immensely and I felt a lot better.
I had also made a decision that if I got ANY money back then I was going to the local bank to open an account. I had already researched the other banks in the area and picked this one out of the two local banks and two local credit unions. The one I went to has no minimum balance and no fees. If you carry $100 balance in the account you start to earn interest. AND they always credit your checks and auto deposits before doing the payments she told me! So WOOHOO! I'm very happy with the new bank. It will take some time to get my direct deposit changed and all my auto payments changed over, but I will get this all done in about a month and eventually will finally close the account with Bank of America. Yay!
So with the money issues, I really didn't want to spend any money on Easter candy.. I really didn't just want to waste money on purely candy that we'd just fight over and I'd be terribly tempted by and so would Nicholas. So I decided to get new garden gloves, trowels for each of us, and a bunch of vegetable seeds from the Easter bunny - along with some seed starter trays and seed starter soil-like stuff. The seed starter stuff is in the garage which is why Nicholas got in so much trouble for going into the garage without permission. However, if he does see that, I will just say I bought it and that part won't be from the Easter bunny. It may not be from him anyhow and the rest of it is stored in my closet. I did get ONE Lindt chocolate bunny for the three of us to share and one small bag of mini Cadbury eggs - the size of one candy bar.
Gotta go order new checks! Yay!