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Too much spending, bank failure.
blaisepascal
As I've explained in the past, I've gotten my finances under control through the use of automation: When my Credit Union opens on Friday, they process two transactions immediately: the direct deposit of my paycheck, and the authorized electronic transfer to the savings account I have with Ing Direct. Before lunch time, my CU's auto bill-pay system sends 1/4 of my monthly bill payment to each of my creditors, service providers, and merchants. By the time lunch hits, my savings and bills are taken care of, and the rest of the money in the account is free for other spending -- gas, food, books, toys, etc. I do it this way because by the end of the week, I'm out of money again, and if I didn't auto-pay everything first, I'd spend that too.

I rely on regularly checking my bank balance (via the internet, conveniently on my smart-phone) to make purchasing decisions: Zappos.com has a pair of shoes in my size, can I buy them without hurting? Mmmmmno, not this week. I want to go out to eat tonight, how much is in the bank? I'll go to Simeons or Subway, accordingly. You get the idea.

Yesterday, checking my balance, I had a decently high available balance. My spending over the weekend must have been lower than usual. I still decided against the Nikes from Zappos.com, because I knew I needed to get meds this week, and I didn't think I could get both and still feel comfortable. This evening, Skitten and I headed to the maul, dropped off my refill order, had dinner at Friendly's (there is no other restaurant in the maul except food-courty stuff), wandered off to look at the kitties in the pet shop, bought a $20 cat watering fountain, and headed back to Target to pick up my meds.

In Friendly's, I described my weekend to Skitten, and I couldn't remember where I ate dinner on Saturday. Knowing that there was a good chance it was in my bank's records, I checked them. No posted transactions since Friday, available balance *significantly higher* than what I had seen yesterday. Surprising, confusing, but not particularly worrying.

At Target, they rang up my meds, and it came out lower than I had mentally budgeted. I ran my card as a debit transaction: declined. I ran my card as a credit transaction: declined. Surprising, confusing, and extremely worrying.

Heading towards an ATM to try to get the funds that way, I frantically try to get a decent cell data signal in Target while checking with my bank once again. The available balance is dangerously low.

Checking the details, everything makes sense. I apparently spent much more than I thought, and there was a massive failure of the "check the bank balance" plan.

I have enough of my critical meds to last me through the week, but I must get refills on Friday.

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Since I rely on the same faulty "What's my balance at this moment?" strategy for deciding how much money I have to spend, I can sympathize. I'm horrible at keeping the accounts actually balanced, but as you've just demonstrated, the risk is that the data just hasn't caught up and the balance we're looking at could be yesterday's. :-\

Glad you've got the meds for now.

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