I totally messed up my finances! Send good money juju please!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by hearts and roses, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I don't know how i got myself into this mess, I can't believe I did this.

    I have a separate checking account from my regular account that has $250 deposited into it each pay period. I set that up years ago to pay off an old debt and it was automatically withdrawn once a month. I also have a $500 credit line on this account so if I run short, I can dip into that.

    So, before easy child and I left for Puerto Rico, I jumped on line to check all my balances and the above account said I had $250 PLUS the $500 line of credit. If I had gone on just 15 minutes later I would have seen that a payment was about to be withdrawn from the account and that I had ALREADY dipped into the line of credit. So, there I am using the card to that account freely, thinking in my head that not only do I have $250 cash, but I also have the line of credit to fall back on. NOT! That account it now overdrawn by $138 - not only did I use the $250 that wasn't really there, but I dipped way past the line of credit. Stupid stupid stupid! I am now going through all transactions for the past 3 months to find out how I did this. In the meantime, the overdraw of $138? That is ALL overdraft charges and my bank will NOT budge on them.

    Then, I received a call from a loan company that I have telling me that I have incurred a late fee of $49 on my account because although they received the money on time, it was not the correct amount. WHAT? Well, I should check my statements more often - instead I just do auto pay on line through my bank and although I always pay more than what's due (they don't mind getting more than what's due, I will tell you that), turns out that when I made the scheduled payment for July 2nd, it wasn't processed by the bank until the 5th (after the holiday) and they didn't receive it until the 7th, thereby making it two days late, so I got slammed with a late fee of $49, which I didn't notice on my statement for August and just paid what I normally pay...boo boo...they slammed me with another late fee because I didn't pay the July late fee. And the woman that called me was so infuriating...she kept talking even after I said, "Please give me a moment to pull up this account so I can see where things went wrong" but she just kept blabbing in my hear. I finally said, "Okay, WAIT A MINUTE. Please STOP talking so I can have the advantage that YOU do by having this account in front of ME". She said, "Mam, there is no reason to get rude with me" WTF? I wasn't the one being rude, she was - I asked her politely twice to allow me the time to bring up my account so I can view it along with her and she ignored me. Whatever. So, she said they would waive the one fee if I paid right then, which I did because it was scheduled to be paid anyway - but get this! They don't actually 'waive' the fee - they take the $49 off the balance of the loan. That is BS. I asked her to please remove the fee from my payment but she said it was not their policy to do that.

    Then, I discovered that I have an unexpected bill for $350 due TODAY. When I get paid on the 15th, I have about $300 that I can put into my savings, so an unexpected bill, while not welcome, is usually not a problem if I REALLY have to pay it. But, because of the added expenses this summer (traveling to FL twice for H's dad, Puerto Rico), I don't really have any extra cash around. I am going to pay it obviously, but now I will be VERY short on grocery money until the 15th because when I get paid on the 31st, that is my "big bill" pay period - you know the one where I pay my car loan, Sallie Mae, the biggies. I altered my bills for this period by $100, which will help, but still.

    I know compared to what some are going through, this pales in comparison, but for me, right now, it's a big deal. So, please send me some good financial juju if you can - thanks!
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I hate when I make stupid mistakes like that - it just has a ripple effect.

    Folks will probably think I'm a tad obsessed, but I check all my personal accounts and business accounts online every single day! I don't want any surprises! Hope you get through ok Jo.

  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Arrrgh, Jo, I hear ya! I did the same thing this week.
    The $149 in charges I bet you can negotiate. You DID send in the charges. Call back and get a different person ... and explain what happened, or what you think happened. They will let it go this one time, as long as you don't have a record of doing that. Then change the debit amt pronto! I hate it when that happens!

    I paid off a big credit card two wks ago and totally forgot about the auto epay. And then two Verizon auto debits came in. And then the mortgage. So we're into our line of credit big time.


    husband keeps telling me to budget. Yeah, sounds good when you can see what you're doing, and you don't have a difficult child screaming at you. And he has a full time staff!
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    :money: vibes going out to you!. I'm trying to generate as many of those vibes as I can for myself, too. (stupid transmission!)

    This is the reason I don't do the auto payments. On a very rare occasion, I also may find myself in a situation where i can't make a payment within the processing period for the due date and want the control to decide if I'll deal with overdraft fees from the bank or pay the late fee, or even pay the express fee if I need the payment posted on the day the payment is due and that option is not available online.

    However, last month I somehow overlooked one of my CCs and missed the payment. When they called to notify me, they also told me about their auto-pay program. They schedule the minimum payment, but if you make a payment beforehand, the auto-pay is ignored for that month. If you don't pay enough, the auto-pay will make a payment for the balance due. That was a program I was willing to sign up for.
  5. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Geeze, what is it? Are the stars misaligned or what? I messed up this week too. I have two checking accounts (long story). Real estate taxes were due for my house and difficult child 2's house so I wrote the check and deducted it from the total but planned not to send it in till the last minute. Other account had $16. So I went to the grocery store, planning to spend $15 but when I got the bill it was 24 so I wrote the check anyway, knowing I hadn't sent in the taxes yet. Well, guess what...I wrote the tax check on the other account so that meant I was overdrawn so I got socked with a $25 fee (at least they did pay the check). So my $24 worth of groceried, that I probably could have done without, ended up costing me almost $50. That is the first time I've done something like that in years but it really makes me mad. And the worst part is, I have an extra $1000 in the other account ... you are supposed to keep that balance to get a few perks which I never use anyway.

    Guess my brain was fried. Must be the weather or the planets or a brain virus going around or something like that,,, seems we all have it.
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I have my mortgage autopaid on the 15th. I check every day, so autopay isn't a problem. BUT - when the people who hold the mortgage don't cash the check - !!!

    I'm sending you $$ vibes... :biggrin:
  7. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Glad I'm not alone - I felt like such a loser yesterday and last night.

    Then, to boot, I dropped a class I was scheduled for on line. The amount of work was just too overwhelming for me. With my chronic knee pain and just life, there was no way I could have kept up and it was a very interesting class so when I do take it, I will have to make it the only class I take - very intense. Anyway, because I dropped it on the 1st of September instead of the 31st of August, I lose 50% of the tuition instead of 80%...that I will now have to pay back to my company, that I don't have. Ugh. Really? Is it koiing all over me or what?? Hahahaha, that sounds funny.
  8. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I've done that before too, and when it happens it tends to snowball. And it's infuriating to try to deal with "those people". I'm afraid of "auto pay" for anything other than bills that stay the same every month. I use it for my car insurance and another insurance policy but never for utility bills that I want to check before I pay them. I pay my city utility bill by check every month, for my water, sewer, gas and garbage collection. All was fine until the city decided to install new water meters to everyone on my street. The very next bill was a ridiculous amount for water - five times more than usual! I could NEVER use that much water, even if I turned on a hose and let it run down the street! It was for twice as much water as what my landlord uses in the car wash he owns! The lady at city hall wouldn't budge! She said that there couldn't possibly be anything wrong with it since it was a brand new water meter! Yeah, right! She even suggested that maybe my neighbors were sneaking over and using my water while I was at work! Like if I came home early one day I might find them lined in my yard in their bath robes carrying their laundry baskets to sneak in and use my shower and washer! I still had to pay the outrageous bill. They never said anything else but a few weeks later I came home to find fresh dirt dug up around the water meter like a different one had been put in, and the next month my bill was back to the normal amount!
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I've never trusted autopay for anything but the mortgage - and that one only because it was with the same bank.
    Autopay on insurance is great - until you go to switch companies. Then, the old company will continue to bill you, even though you have cancelled your policy in writing... "as long as you pay, it is assumed you want the policy to continue". So if you are on autopay with insurance and change companies, make sure you get a stop-pay on the old company.
    Another problem with autopay is that the company can make errors - double-bill, mis-calculations that result in 10x normal bill, a whole raft of errors. If that bill results in you not having money in the bank for your mortgage payment... you're just plain out of luck. If it results in other payments "bouncing" - again, you're out of luck. It can really hurt your credit rating FAST.
    So... I don't touch autopay.
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I don't use autopay at all. I schedule all my bill payments twice a month. That's why I'm so baffled as to how this got by me. I'm usually so very on top of these things!!!!
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Arrgh, so sorry about the class, on top of it all.

    Is this everywhere? I LIKE this! but if you make a payment beforehand, the auto-pay is ignored for that month. If you don't pay enough, the auto-pay will make a payment for the balance due. That was a program I was willing to sign up for.
  12. keista

    keista New Member

    Terry, I don't know if everyone offers it. It was for Discover and arranged over the phone. They did say it was a new program - it might catch on.

    Gotta wait until next month to see if it really works that way.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I use autopay for several things but only for things that are the same amounts or things that are very close to the same amounts every month. I auto-pay my car insurance because it makes it cheaper that way, I did auto pay my car payment until I just paid it off this month (hooray!!!), and I auto pay my water bill which saves me a late fee every month. I refuse to auto pay my cell phone bill or my power bill because they vary every month, plus I want to be able to pay them on whatever day I want to pay them...same with cable. Gosh help me with cable considering how they stick false charges on there and I am constantly calling them to get them removed. I pay the amount I know Im supposed to pay and then argue it out about the remainder on the phone.

    We have messed up our finances before but we get through it. Cant you just get the money from your H and straighten it out?
  14. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Most of my bills, I want to check them before I pay them, but I also want to be the one to decide WHEN to pay them, not some computer deciding! When I was working we always got paid on the 15th of the month and the last day of the month. I had all my bills arranged so that part of them came out of one check and part out of the other, with both my rent and my city utility bill due on the 15th. That was fine before but now that I've retired, social security doesn't work that way. Now I get my ss check on the third Wednesday of the month, no matter what date that falls on, so it's never the same and I usually have to juggle. I might get a bill BEFORE I get my check but the due date is AFTER my check comes in. I want to be the one to decide when I pay it, not them. The few that I do have on auto pay all come in the first week of the month, after I have gotten my State pension check so it all works out.

    And Janet, I know what you mean about the cable bill. I found out my satellite TV company had been charging me for a TV hookup IN MY RV! Ummm ... I don't own an RV and I have never owned an RV, but if I did, I could have watched TV in it!
  15. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    No!!!! I wish, but he would just snap at me and I'd have to be harrassed over it all week. I could ask easy child to just lend me $100 so I'm not freaking out till the 15th.
  16. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Omg omg omg!!! Just hung up with the bank and they're going to refund me $140 in overdraft charges!! How cool is that?! I'm so excited! Thanks for the good $$$$ juju! Board power works again! Yay
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    WOO HOO!!!!! Nothing ventured, nothing gained, eh?