this is ridiculous and then some

I need a financial advisor. Or a bookkeeper (did you know “bookkeeper” is the only word in the English language with three double letters in a row?). In either case, having one cannot possibly exceed the amount of money I spend on overdraft charges and related bank fees. I am truly missing some vital piece of information explaining why what I budget out on paper never matches up to what actually happens in my life. I’m not stupid, I swear. I’ve had a raise and acquired another job; I should be comfortable, not scrambling. And yet, there I was as Target, listening to the clerk tell me my $2 debit card transaction was declined. Fortunately, I had an alternative option: using my Wells Fargo card, as that bank’ll approve anything and screw you over for it later. I need to get a grip. I need someone else to handle my money since I’ve proved so incompetent. I’m good at lists, good at math, good at understanding how things work. Why is properly budgeting so continually problematic?

In better news, I surfed yesterday. Camel Rock. Beautiful, clean, small swell. I hustled out, caught a few fun rights. But my wetsuit is so, so, so beyond worn out. The cold permeated every bit of me. I actually skipped surfing today because I couldn’t bear the thought of suiting up in that damp, holey suit and facing the icy air, chilly water. I keep thinking, “One more paycheck,” but then Christmas happened and now I’m still catching up.

Thursday night, I’m again hosting spoken word at Muddy’s Hot Cup. Wouldn’t it be nice to write something new for that?

At least I have some good interviews set up for the Eye over the next couple weeks. I thought I’d start the year off with a resolution to write a kick-ass column every week, but so far, that hasn’t happened. At least there’s always hope, right? Just like another wave comes along, so another paper does, too – damn, but surf metaphors are always so corny.

Nick’s doing well. We’ve had some low moment this past week, but not enough to change anything. He and I sandboarded twice over the weekend. What a blast! Falling, which I did every time, wasn’t too bad, since the sand was soft. Not that I wasn’t sore the next day – I was! But I didn’t break anything. The “run” is a gradual slope, not too steep, but I get going fast enough to get a rush. The speed and height are intense compared to surfing, and I think this whole sandboarding thing might be helpful. Suddenly, snowboarding has appeal. Assuming there’s a lodge nearby.

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2 thoughts on “this is ridiculous and then some”

  1. I don’t know that it will help with a debit card but, for writing checks, one good thing to have is overdraft protection. Check with your financial institution. I don’t think my credit union charges any monthly charge for it.What it does is, if you write a check for more than you have in your account, they transfer money from your savings account to cover the check. I think they charge something like $2.00 for every check they have to cover.That’s just insurance and I haven’t had a problem with over- writing checks for years. Still, it covers your checks and $2.00 is a lot less then the outrageous fees most places charge for bounced checks nowadays.I rarely write checks, usually using a debit card instead, but I still need the overdraft protection if only because I haven’t balanced my checking account for probably twenty years.Once I got married, it was just too hard to keep track of the checks written with two people writing checks on the same account. I just make sure and keep an eye on my balances regularly- not hard to do if you can access your account online- and have the overdraft protection just in case.

  2. Thanks for the advice, Fred. I rarely write checks, typically depend on the debit card, but am trying to make a move toward a cash-based existence. When I have money in my savings account, I do have overdraft protection. “When” being the key word!And I do check my balance online as well. Usually things truck along OK until something happens like my student loan payment (which is automatically deducted from my account) comes due on a Thursday (payday is Friday) and I’m a bit short because I just had to pay the propane bill or the month had an extra Saturday so the girls’ horseback riding cost extra and threw my normal budget out of whack. I understand the idea of always setting enough aside to cover these “extras,” but the reality has been that for most of my adult life, my bills have exceeded my income, so a certain amount of juggling has been necessary to get by. But I’m actually in a place now where, if things hold steady for a while, I could possibly get a bit ahead, pay off some old bills, repair my credit, etc., so I’m trying to improve my habits accordingly. Story of my life, trying to improve my bad habits!

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