Well I was sleepy earlier, but now I am going to have to go for a walk. The reason is because my heart is in my throat and my pulse is speeding. I had checked my bank account when I got home from work and found that my tax refund had posted. Joy! First thing… sit down with bills and pay some off. Since November I had collected several large groups of them, and every four weeks or so I’d sit down and trash the old ones, keeping the newer demands from a creditor for money, trying to knock down three stacks of bills into one. I got it down to two. Then I’d sit down and send off $10 here and there, not much of a dent at all on any of the bills, but an effort. No good, my credit still sucks. But I started to make a step now and then in January, a good step in February… a bit a couple weeks ago, building momentum, and today I paid off all of them except for three. Of those three I have $340 owed to QWEST and those bastards will get their money in my own sweet time. I sent half of a $280 debt. And then I inhaled and looked at the big one… a $760 credit card debt. How on earth does a $350 balance end up over $700? Simple, interest charges, over-limit fees, late fees, and satanic verses fees. I took a deep breath and called the number on the slip and told them that I couldn’t pay the total, couldn’t pay the amount to get me back under limit, but that I could do $200. On my computer screen before me I had my bank account up as well as my Money program with a cash flow forecast for the next 90 days, complete with a newly created budget and income. I then committed to another $250 (going over what she was asking for on the phone) on May 7th via electronic debit from my checking account. I looked at the bank numbers again, totalled trends in my head, remembered scratch sheets of paper from work tonight where I graphed out money in/outs for the next three weeks. It all seemed to add up… I would have have enough in my bank account to cover these debt payments as well as meet my budget, which included groceries, rent, cell phone, and trips to the coffee house. No way. I’ve been conditioned over the past three years that I couldn’t spend $700 in the middle of the month and still make rent a mere two weeks later. But the numbers tell me other wise.
Even though I have scheduled the payments for tomorrow, some of them are in check form in envelopes on my desk (waiting to be put in the mailbox) and no drastic changes are going to happen to my bank account in the next 12 hours… I might just walk down to the bank and deposit the cash I’ve got on me right now. I am a bit on the nervous side if for no other reason than classical conditioning.
But the sun is rising, the sky is pale with the growing dawn, and part of me wants to go walk to the bank anyway, to greet this new day, fresh with hope… that I am at last nearly out of the hole I had dug myself into. Things get better from here!