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Clearing my conscience

August 27th, 2006 at 08:57 am

Okay, so I finally decided to start a public blog as a way to actually admit the problems I am having with sticking to my budget.

I paid two hospital bills last month, one for $640. & one for $1640. Well, I ended up having to go to a funeral, which cost me about $125 to go to (gas, tolls, etc.), and $100 for a donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in lieu of flowers. I knew I didn't have that money budgeted, but this person was very important to my family, and I really wanted to donate.

Knowing that would overdraw my checking account, I transferred $200 from my ING account (leaving just $600 after having to buy a new *used* car last month). I also had my nephew for an unexpected week, and spent more than I had planned. The $1640 hospital check bounced because I wasn't paying attention to my account during the time around the funeral. I transferred money from my savings account to cover that, leaving barely $100 between my two savings accounts at the credit union.

Then, I'm checking my account, making sure I have enough money to cover the bounced check when it comes back in, and out of nowhere I see a $240 check cashed. I found out that it was a check that I had written at the beginning of June before I started using MS Money, and I thought it had already been cashed. So, now the only way I can cover that bounced check is to transfer almost all my ING savings into my checking account and I don't want to do that even though I know I should. Leaving myself no emergency money at all just won't work psychologically for me, especially after all the emergencies I've experienced lately.

So, if the bounced check comes in after Wed. at midnight when I get my direct deposit, it will be paid. If it comes in before that it will be sent back to me, and, here is where my guilty conscience kicks in, I am only going to pay part of it and make monthly payments on the remaining balance so that I can keep some of the money. I know I should just transfer some of the ING money, but I just can't bear to do that. I worked really hard to save money, and all of a sudden my car breaks (frame, so it couldn't be fixed) and I have an out-of-state funeral to attend, and my savings are virtually gone. I feel very vulnerable with only a couple hundred dollars in savings, so I am most likely going to avoid paying the hospital the full amount all at once by letting the check get returned. I know. That's really horrible.

There it is, my guilty conscience.

4 Responses to “Clearing my conscience”

  1. ima saver Says:

    I am sure the hospital will happily take payments every month. Mine did and charged me no interest!

  2. spendless Says:

    Wow......lots of stuff going on.
    Not knowing any of your financial history.......Is there anyone that you can borrow from until you get over the hump?

    Do you have a credit card that you can get a small cash advance (just enough to cover the $$difference you need in your account)? Realize that cash advances are potentially expensive, but maybe not as bad as overdraft expenses and/or possible hits to your credit scores.
    This too shall pass.....good luck.

  3. Great to be Debt Free Says:

    First, I'm very sorry for your loss.

    Second, make sure if you itemize on your tax returns that you have a receipt or proof of pymt of your donation -- which was very generous and surely appreciated. I know you didn't give it to get a tax writeoff, but it is there for you if you itemize.

    Third, a guilty conscience in this case does no good. Whatever you resolve is right for you to do (and making payment to a hospital is not a horrible decision), then do it and know that it'll work out okay. Beating yourself up will not fix anything and could lead to binge spending elsewhere. You're doing great, you've just had a rough time of it.

    I'll be thinking of you. Again, my condolences on the loss of your friend.

  4. melissalt Says:

    First, thanks for your kindness and good ideas. The check still hasn't come in, so I'm not sure what's happening with it. Maybe I'll get lucky and it won't show up until after my deposit (not counting on that!). The only person I could borrow money from would be my mother, and, well, I've been debating ranting about her on the 'know someone who's horrible with money' thread! Maybe I'll do it after all. This seems to be very cathartic *and* motivating.

    I feel a lot better after reading your replies. I hadn't even thought about the binge spending part; I definitely have a history of that type of behavior. So thanks for taking the time to share your ideas with me. :-)

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