That awkward moment

It turns out there was a very simple explanation to the stalled ACH request I sent from my Camp BX account. The part they didn’t tell me in the note pinned to my request was that I would need to cancel and resubmit my request after they had completed their ACH upgrade. The extra thousand dollars I found in my account was a credit they made back to my account because I had a withdrawal request in process. However, since they hadn’t actually deducted anything from my account, it registered simply as a credit. I will need to contact their support line and let them know they credited me erroneously. My plan is to do that as soon as my ACH request hits my bank account.

On Friday morning I got an email back from Camp BX tech support explaining what happened and that I would need to resubmit my request. So I canceled the pending request (which had been pending for nearly a week) and resubmitted it. A few hours later I saw that the amount I requested had been debited from my account and there was that 24 hour restriction on my account from requesting any further withdrawals. Camp BX has a $1000 a day limit on unverified accounts. My account is unverified because I figure when I get to the point where only being able to request $1000 a day cramps my style, then I probably will have to make all sorts of financial changes besides verifying my account.

I will probably have to start considering the tax ramifications of all these Devcoin-Bitcoin earnings converted into fiat, but for right now I’m just trying to knock out the mountain of bills that is in front of me. I checked my fiat bank account this morning and the ACH deposit hadn’t hit the bank account yet. This isn’t surprising but I’m really chomping on the bit to be able to use that money.

The clock is ticking on that third trial payment for our home loan modification approval. If we can make this payment in time, the new loan becomes official and we get to enjoy a super low interest rate and low payments for the life of the loan. If we’re late, we’ll probably lose the house. I have three more days to make that phone call authorizing a debit from my fiat bank account. Waiting for the deposit from Camp BX to clear is turning into a bit of a nail biter, but at least I know it’s coming.

I also have two utility providers threatening to turn off service in a little over a week if I don’t pay what’s overdue. I’m also waiting on that ACH deposit so that I can satisfy them and keep my heat and water running. I have an overdue phone bill, but since I got caught up last month there is no threat of my phone and Internet service being turned off in the next thirty days.

I will soon have to register our new vehicle–they give you forty-five days from the time of purchase to get it registered. I also have to pay the premium on its insurance. I have a number of other bills I’m behind on and a ton of consumer debt, because when you go for months and months without earning enough to meet all your financial obligations you tend to rely on credit figuring you’ll pay it off as soon as things turn around.

Then to add insult to injury, I got pulled over and slapped with a speeding ticket a few days ago. I was driving nine miles per hour too fast through a small town. It was late at night and there were no other cars around so I wasn’t endangering anyone, and although I did slow down, I didn’t slow down enough. The vehicle I was driving has a headlight out. I was warned several months ago (when I was pulled over about that) to go get it fixed. But there wasn’t money to fix a car with a bad headlight which otherwise drives fine. I’m told it’s the kind of headlight where you have to replace the entire side panel, so it’s not just a matter of changing out a bulb either. I compensated by driving with the high beams on, and then a few days before the speeding ticket I got pulled over and warned about that. Apparently it’s illegal to drive around with high beams on when there’s oncoming traffic. So it’s six of one and a half dozen of the other. I’m bound to get slapped with some kind of traffic violation with that vehicle. The day I got the speeding ticket I was driving through town agonizing over whether I should keep my high beams on and risk getting pulled over for blinding someone or turn them off and risk getting a ticket for the missing headlight. I’d been previously warned about both so I figured the next time I got pulled over I would have to pay a fine. I just never guessed that the fine would be for neither one of my headlight troubles, but for speeding, something I haven’t gotten caught doing for many years. Once I make the small town in question 120 dollars richer I still will not have solved the fundamental problem. I really just need to get the headlight fixed and be done with it, but the money isn’t there yet.

My husband and I recently set up a Clear Checkbook account to track our financial stuff. I hadn’t been properly tracking things for a while now because after years and years of coming up short no matter how well I tracked things, I got burned out. Does it really matter all that much if you know ahead of time that you will bounce a check or if you get surprised each time? But armed with the hope that things may be turning around thanks to my earnings and investments in the cryptoworld I decided a month or so ago that now would be a good time to start keeping track of these things. My husband had been wanting to learn how I manage the bills so we did this together.

Yes, the hope of things turning around for us is very real, and I’m very much looking forward to its realization, but we’re still right in the trough where money is tight and the smallest mistake causes a bounced check and the ridiculously high overdraft charge that goes with it. Overdraft charges always struck me as a form of kicking someone when they were already down. That’s exactly how it feels too. It’s similar with utility shut off notices. If they ever do follow through and turn off the service, then they slap on an extra fee just to reinstate it. Fortunately I have not experienced that joy yet. The one time I had service shut off, the company was nice enough to waive the reinstatement fee if I’d just settle up the past amount I owed and start fresh, something I was fortunately able to do at the time.

We’re in that awkward moment right before things turn around. On one hand we’re living like we have for years, scrabbling for every penny, juggling bills each month, paying the most urgent ones first while falling behind on others, the number of shut off notices gradually increasing, the threat of losing our home hanging over our heads at all times, having to make the tough choice between filling up the car with gas or picking up some much needed groceries, trying to figure out when we might take care of some non urgent but not wise to ignore medical issues with either us or our children… staring at those online bank balances and finding them at all times way too close to zero. It won’t work out this month either, we shake our heads sadly, and hope we make it through until the next paycheck gets deposited.

It’s down to the wire on several pressing bills, and this week finds me anxiously waiting not for a paycheck but for a deposit from my Bitcoin-fiat trading account. The Bitcoins ultimately came from my Devtome earnings. A year ago there was no way I would have called this form of provision. And yet here we are, and I’m feeling somewhat OK about talking about our situation because for the first time in years I actually see the possibility that our days of financial scrabbling may be slowly drawing to an end. “Money is tight,” I told my husband before he left for work, the unspoken warning to not spend any money that day dying on my lips. “Enjoy it while it lasts.” Because, you know, money isn’t always going to be this tight, and once we have more than enough to cover our expenses we might actually miss these days of feeling ground under by the crushing weight of debt that we can’t repay.

My husband is happy because now he knows where our money goes and how the bills get paid (or not). I’m happy because I see the ability to pay them all in one sitting just around the corner. But that corner is taking its sweet time to come around.

If I’ve learned one lesson it’s this: never again slack off on Devtome writing. Round 31 cannot start paying out fast enough.

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