StepOut - Donate

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Financial Woes

Alternately titled: "Why I will always be poor"

I checked my online banking site before leaving work today (to see if tomorrow's paycheck had been deposited, which it had not), and went into the bill pay service to check the newest bills and schedule a few payments. My new electric bill had arrived and I almost had a heart attack when I looked at it. $113!! Did I mention that my apartment is less than 900sf? This is the highest it has ever been and I am wondering if there's a problem with my meter. It was high last month too, but not like this. And I tried to view the detailed bill, but there was an (all too convenient) error with the PG&E billing site. I probably have the paper bill somewhere in my house, but may have filed it somewhere this weekend while sorting through old mail.

Then, I checked my mailbox when I got home and had a notice from the DMV that my registration check was not honored by the bank. And this was a 2nd notice (when I never saw a 1st). After I returned to my apartment, feeling ill and annoyed (the current PMS situation does not help), I did actually find the 1st statement, which they sent right around Christmas and I had not noticed (stupid of me and I can't blame them for that). Then I checked my online bank statement history and lo and behold, there is no withdrawal for the registration payment that should have hit the bank in November.

I'm not blaming the bank for this one (nor am I blaming myself). I place the blame directly on the DMV online payment site. This was the first time I had paid my registration online, and I'm thinking it will also be the last. I don't understand how I received my registration stickers when the payment wasn't honored. I had no notice of returned check (wire request?) from the bank (which I would have received along with a fee, I am positive). So I conclude that there was some error with the site, which could have been mine, but I doubt it, since I triple check the account numbers every time I have to enter them manually. I don't think the bank ever received the payment request.

Damn. So, tomorrow I guess I will spend my lunch hour getting a certified check from the bank (since I'm being treated like a criminal and the DMV won't accept a personal check), then heading over to the DMV to pay in person. And, because of this error, I have to pay extra late fees and a service fee. It's about $70 more than I originally owed when I attempted to pay it online on the due date.

But I apparently have at least one friend on my side. I received a check from my good buddy Victoria (she's got a secret, you know), for a whopping $0.60. Looks like I overpaid on my last bill. And don't think I won't cash it either!

Now, I'm feeling better after my relaxing hot shower, and am going to go post in the The Cooking Corner.


Christyn said...

Uh oh, the Novato DMV, at lunch????? Are you serious? Oh My! Hope it goes better for you than it did for me a year or 2 ago. UGH!

Dagny said...

Just one correction. Don't say "poor." Instead say "broke." Because poor is a mind state whereas broke is a temporary condition.

This is the definition I gave to students when I taught in east Oakland. After some thought, they had to agree with me. Because I explained to them that while I have never been poor, I have frequently been broke. ;-)

Tami said...

Good point Dagny. I'm broke (or getting there with the help of the government...and utility companies). And glad to see you're still around blog-land, even if you're on hiatus from writing.

Christyn - I checked the DMV online site to try to make an appt, and it said registration renewals are online or by mail only, even though the notice I received said you could pay in person. Knowing the typical Novato DMV attitude and wait times, I think I'll just mail it after all. It should only take a day, and there shouldn't be any crying involved.

Dad said...

Want to trade electric bills? Mine was for $651.00 !! As you know, our house is small and I keep temp at 68 (of course AM jacks it up when I am not home)

As for the DMV - didn't you print out the on-line receipt? And didn't you pay with a creit card? They should waive the penalty and if you explain what happened at the DMV office they CAN do that. For $70 - it is worth a try.

Good luck!

Kristin said...

Thats a bunch of horse crap. YOu do not pay dmv when they have sent you the stickers and they should have had the payment. Thats crap. YOu scream first before you pay that, I have never had a problem in years paying it online. Thats crap@!!!! Stand in a Dmv line for some stupid reason like that. Want me to go take care of it??? gGGGRRRRR
Ok dont bitch about pg& e to me when i have to pay this screwed up suburban propane and it was $290!!!!
I coould add more but did not read all your post yet.

Joie said...

Ouch! And I thought my $156 gas/electric bill was high! But then I have 2000 sqft. Most of ours is the heating. We're thinking about replacing the single paned aluminum framed windows. We have an appointment with a window company on Saturday. I can't wait until spring when our bill will go down. Even the electric should go down because I will restring my clothesline, and then won't be paying for a dryer. :)

And the DMV is just evil. What else can I say?