“It’s always something” is a phrase I find myself saying a lot these days. Since the couple of months leading up to the wedding actually.. Whether it’s “something” in our personal relationships, our finances, or external factors that affect us… we seem to be in a slump that just won’t end. The current “something” plaguing us is a battle with our leasing office over money. Here’s the necessary back story:
We are in our third lease with our apartment, just signed it a couple of weeks ago. Not only do we pay almost $2,000 a month for this 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom 1,000 sq. ft. space… but we do so using a third party payment website. That right there invites trouble, don’t you think?
In the past 2 years, we’ve only had one issue with this system. It came when J tried to make a change to the auto pay for it to bill him on a different date. Since the rent was coming out of his account, I left it up to him to make that change. Something “went wrong” with the change, and he ended up being billed twice. Both after the rent due date. So not only did we show as paying our rent late, but he also had NSF fees coming at him from every angle because of the double charge to his bank account.
It literally took weeks for that to be resolved, and we were the losers of the battle. We licked our wounds, and moved on… no other issues to speak of until this month. After we got married, we opened a joint account which we decided would be the one we used to pay the rent and other “household” bills. I would make automatic transfers to the account from mine when I got paid, and he was to change part of his direct deposit since his personal account is elsewhere. Again it came time to change the auto pay information on the payment website, which I let J be responsible for. Do you see where this is going?
He went on the website and added the new account, and allegedly switched the auto pay to come from the new account (for the NEW rent amount, since it was raised $95 this lease term). August 3rd came, I checked our balance.. and the money was still in our account. I just figured it would take a day or two to process, then completely forgot about it. On August 7th I checked the balance again and the money was still there! I knew there had to be a problem, and asked J to check his personal account to see if there was anything amiss.
Wouldn’t you know it? The auto pay came from his old account, for the old amount. Now we’re looking at the NSF charged to him by his bank, the TWO $50 NSF fees from the leasing office for the returned payment (one for our rent and one for the fucking cat rent that we pay), PLUS a $198 late fee because when we realized the error and made the one-time payment it was August 8, past the due date. Then we got a lovely “pay or quit” 5 day notice on our door for all those fees.
I’ve spent the last 10 days fighting with him and the leasing office alternatively to try and make this GO AWAY. We never intentionally paid the rent late. The issue here is that sometimes, although I love him dearly, my husband is a fucking idiot. I’m trying hard not to be mad at him… but we now owe $300 to the leasing office that was totally avoidable. Should have never happened. And quite honestly, this is all his fault. He never wondered why he didn’t get a confirmation. He never bothered to double-check that the change was made properly. And when I asked him if it had gone through alright at the time, he acted like I was nagging him, so I left it alone.
There isn’t enough wine in the world to drown my stress in tonight. I just paid $500 for the last two weeks of summer camp and have another almost $500 coming out of my next paycheck for the first round of before/after school care payments. Our money was carefully budgeted out (by me, BTW) for the next few weeks to make sure that our bills got paid and that the extraneous back to school/sport shit was covered. Now it’s all fucked up.
Cause we live paycheck to paycheck, and we don’t have $300 sitting around to just wipe our ass with. Or in this case, the ass of the leasing office. Money is the biggest stress factor in my life, and it seems that as hard as I work to keep us afloat, we keep inflicting these wounds on ourselves, digging us deeper into a hole that I’d desperately like to get out of :(