Thursday, May 6, 2010

Banking Roulette

I have a strategy for paying my bills and it's called, basically, banking roulette. I just write a bunch of checks to various people and agencies, and then hope that they all clear. In the meantime, I check the computer compulsively to see what is going on, sitting, on times, at the edge of my seat. It's just like the plot in a B rate thriller. Things are going along and going along and then BAMMO someone cashes a random check for some random insurance fee when you don't expect it and then that sets off a wave of panic. Like dominoes,the other checks that are in the cue hang in the balance, wobbling precariously on the edge.
Today was a particularly scary day.
We have to pay our daycare fees on the first of the month, so on the first of every month I dutifully hand over my check, just as any responsible parent would. What they don't know is that, secretly, I have grave doubts about the validity of said check.
It's not that I don't have the money.
It's just that I don't usually have it for very long.
There's basically about a fifteen minute window period for check cashing. After that it all becomes very iffy.
So still, they haven't cashed the check for daycare fees, I noted when I logged onto Scotioonline this morning. That might have been all well and good.
Except for the fact that SGI ended up budding in and taking their auto payment early.
Shit fuck shit fuck I was thinking to myself.
Geoff gets paid tonight at midnight, but if they cash that check before midnight that check might bounce, and how humiliated, HUMILIATED I would be, especially given the fact that I sit on the board of directors for the daycare.
So I phoned Geoff all in a panic "Our bank account is in maximum overdrive" I tell him, to which he replies not with panic or surprise or even confusion but only a sigh and a "OH well, what can you do? Whatever happens happpens and we'll just have to deal."
But of course, translation: I'll just have to deal, because I didn't anticipate him being the one to be called into a meeting with the daycare director to discuss the NSF fees.
But anyways, I just checked the bank account situation and it's all good. The check didn't get cashed today, and we will live to see another day. It feels pretty good to get away with it.
I can sort of see why people would like to play real roultette. Not the game where you spin a wheel, but like the one with the gun to your head.
Well, except for the whole gun to your head thing.
That's pretty unpleasant.
Anyways, one would think that I might have some pride and not want to share this story, but I tell this story to people because I don't think that people realize that daycare is a financial hardship for most families. If you're low income you can qualify for subsidies. If you're high income, you would just have nannies. But for those of us in the middle, it's pretty tight sometimes.
Anyways, that is all for now.


Lorrie said...

I used to play banking roulette but it was for more selfish reasons than caring for my children...if we wanted to go out drinking I'd write T a cheque for $50.00 - oh let's be honest...we're lushes - $150.00. If it were Tuesday and after banking hours we'd - I'll be honest again, Trent couldn't write a cheque to pay his way out of a paperbag - I'd date the cheque for the Wednesday knowing bankers aren't too swift...he'd get paid, they'd process it on Friday well after our hungovers had subsided. Never did get caught on banking roulette and now, thankfully, we don't have to play anymore. Very often.

randine said...

Ha ha, you are hilarious!!
Sometimes my reasons are also selfish, like when I'd rather buy a portrait of the Northern Lights, say... but that was for the benefit of the whole family.
Anyways, it is goo to know I am not the only one.

nikki said...

Jason is the king of banking roulette. I'm really surprised he hasn't been thrown in jail. Words like "cheque kiking" and "fraud" have been thrown around! Why do you think we moved to the great region of PA...we had to get the PO-Po off our trail! (and really...who would move to PA?!?)
PS- Reading my grammerical(is that a word?) errors in the comments must just get on yours and Lo's last nerve. HAHA