Tuesday, May 11, 2010

green leech

I took another step towards growing up yesterday. It’s strange that a person can feel as old as I do most days and still need to grow up.
I opened a new checking account yesterday. No big deal, right?
I’d had the same accounts since high school. So many things had been added and taken off that it was completely overwhelming and seemingly impossible for me to get them under control. Last month, I paid nearly four hundred dollars in overdraft charges—even though I’d check my balance every day. Something bizarre always seemed to come through or some strange technicality happened (that even when explained to me I couldn’t understand). In a time in my life when every dollar seems to make a huge difference (I found a twenty in my pocket after doing laundry the other day and it was cause for much rejoicing), such ridiculousness of paying for things that are nothing but fees is preposterous. Obviously, the majority of such nonsense was my fault, but much of it truly seemed out of my control, and my bank would offer nothing to help—why would they, look how much money they were making off me…
So, I sat there at the new bank for a couple hours, going over details of accounts (I even did research of different banks, accounts, and safeguards—look at me!), and account protections and such. Each moment was akin to torture. I HATE talking about money. Hate it. It’s an area I feel so inadequate and incompetent about, and I end up feeling like a scolded child—which is part of the reason it has taken me so long to do anything about. Ridiculous, but true.
It will take a couple months to get everything transferred over and the other account shut down, but I’m on my way, and I’m pretty excited about it. If I can start figuring this all out, I may be able to start even getting some things paid down (not off, but down), and it could be a really cool thing.
After combining some debts and increasing my mortgage payment by nearly double, when Chad moved in (my choice, not his) and then turning into a single income household again, I have spent the past year—in addition to all the emotional hurt—overwhelmed and drowning in my financial situation. I feel (and hope) that I have begun the swim that will take me closer to the surface where my head can at least catch a breath at some point.
They say that money is the root of all evil—or the love of money. People with money are seen as selfish and elitist. I have a hard time with that. When I actually had money and didn’t have to worry about finances, I would have given anyone whatever they asked for—and did very often. Didn’t matter if it was a dear friend or some stranger off the street who needed a twenty. Now, however, I tend to hold onto it with a death grip (well, at least in comparison).
I look forward to one day where I’m not picking which bill to pay and which three to suck up the missed payment fee and able to once again give freely to those who ask or need.
Either way, it’s nice to know I’ve started to unbury my head from the sand and make some adult decisions about my financial life.

No comments: