Wednesday, November 24, 2010

the very first set of bills.

when you begin the moving out process one of the first tasks that must be tackled is the budget.  you plot and plan and try to fit everything in.  now not living on my complete own before there were a few bills that needed to be guessed at for the moment.  so naturally i googled it.  i did my research and figured out an average i thought would work.  i had a pretty tight budget and knew what i could afford in the way of rent.  when we found the apartment to move into i was so excited and it actually was something i could put into the budget! 

we moved in with pretty low moving costs, thankfully.  we did however have a lot to purchase otherwise, who knew the actual moving costs would add up so quickly.  we moved in at the beginning of the month so i had a whole month to get things in order and be setting aside the right amount of money each check.  but of course the reality quickly leaves your head with all the other excitement going on .

all of that changed when the real reality set in and the first bill showed up at the end of the month.  first came the electricity bill, which thankfully we knew was going to have an extra deposit on it.  thank you jennifer.  then the cable, which we scored a smokin deal and had our first month free.  so then the questions came.  how do we pay the bill?  do i pay one and richard pays the other?  which one does each of us pay?  do we each set up accounts?  who writes the check to the other person?  and we hadnt even gotten the rent bill yet.

so we came up with a plan.  we would each pay half to each bill from our own accounts.  whether that meant through the bank or creating a new account with the company.  it sounded like such a good plan, again until reality hit.  i thought the convenience of online bill pay was that it went straight to your bill right away.  not so much, it seems take a few days, lame.  this now means our bills are late.

once we got that figured out, we thought we had it made.  then it came time to pay the rent.  when we moved in they told us we could pay online instead of having to write a check every month.  we thought, awesome, this is going to be so easy.  again, not so much.  we set up separate accounts both going to the same apartment.  all ready to pay the bill and it wont let you unless you pay the whole amount.  lame.  so now, on a sunday, halloween, we have to try and figure out how to get our rent paid on time the next day.  we decided that i would write a check to richard for my half, deposit it in the atm on the way to the grocery store, and then he would pay the amount online in the morning.

the next day i get a text from richard to call him asap.  concerned something is seriously wrong i called right away.  he tells me that the check still hasnt cleared his account and he cant pay the rent.  apparently when you deposit in the atm they only allow you to have 25% of the amount on the initial day, until the check clears.  and wells fargo does not process the checks on site, so it could take up to 3-4 days for the check to actually clear.  now mind you all of this is happening on the 1st when our rent is actually due.  frantic i call our apartment office and they tell me not to worry, we can come in the morning and figure out something.

on my way out the door the next morning to the gym richard informs me the check actually cleared overnight and we could pay online that day.  thank god!  i went into the office anyway to make sure of our final amount.  as i was getting ready for work after the gym richard got up to pay the rent.  however he tried to pay with his debit card instead of as an e-check and it was going to charge an extra $33 to process.

we eventually figured out a system.  and realized that we really need to be on top of these things in the future.  we have so many things we do separately with money that we let the bills we have together slip through.  guess we will see how it goes in the coming months!

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