Thursday, August 17, 2006

A little nervous laughter for your day.

Recently, ha ha, we became a little, ha ha ha ha, overdrawn on our checking account. Ha ha ha ha ha... *ahem*

Okay, so that was nervous laughter, not the Ha! kind of laughter I'd like it to be. Because it's true. We were overdrawn.

We used our debit card to pay for everything. Groceries, bill payments, gas, meals at McDonald's, stops at the Quick Stop for Gatorade... everything. And due to a serious math error, we kept on using the debit card even when there was no more money in our bank account. And thankfully, our bank kept on honoring our overdrawn purchases. So we didn't end up on anybody's Must Pay Cash list. Thanks for that, BB&T.

And no thanks, BB&T*, for charging us $35 a pop every time you honored our debits. You see, some of those debits were for, like, $1.50 and less. So my husband drank a $36.50 bottle of Gatorade. And the kids ate McDonald's Happy Meals that cost us well over $40.00.

In the end, we were actually overdrawn for very little. I mean, our actual purchases were not that much, and I could have put a little bit of cash into the account to cover the amount. But, but, the bank had charged us so much, there was no way my paycheck could cover the amount that our account was now in the negative. I mean, we had charges that would make you weep. (They may have made me weep just a little.)

But don't worry, this is not a plea for financial help. Once my husband's paycheck was direct deposited to the account, everything was back in the black. And we learned a very serious lesson. We learned not to overdraw our account, ever again. We also learned that we must ditch the debit cards and begin carrying cash. (Very little cash, for you would be robbers out there. Very little cash.)

The whole debacle did cost us a fortune, though. And during a time when we have lots of medical bills, and school supplies that cost me over $60.00 to get (not including backpacks and clothes and shoes, just actual supplies,) the fortune it cost us could not come at a worse time. But we're on a strict cash budget, and we're doing well with it.

Paying cash for everything leaves me with a very satisfied feeling. It means I don't have to check the checking account online, obsessively, until everything has cleared and breathe a sigh of relief when it finally does clear. It has a finality to it. It's done, paid for, and now we can move on. (Although it is very unsatisfying when I only have two bills left, and they are not bills of large denominations.)

Oh, somewhere along the way I had a point to this whole post. I'm not exactly sure what it was, though. So, um, I think I just shared too much information with you for no real reason at all. Except to tell you that I am not BB&T's biggest fan, and I am very satisfied when I pay with cash. But that's reason enough, isn't it?

*BB&T is a large bank here in the South. I'm sure they have lots of people who love banking with them, but we are not some of those people. They didn't tell us about their overdraft protection coverage that could have saved us a ton of money until after we had already paid them a ton of money. Also, they have a weird way of doing their online banking that does not let you see pending transactions, and posts the cleared transactions 2 days after they have cleared. So it makes it impossible to keep up with your checking account online. But please don't get mad at me, BB&T, because if you sue me for slander, I will not have any money to give you. You already have the equivalent of my car payment. And maybe even my mortgage payment too.

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