The first time my debit card was denied was one week ago, at a dentist office. The second time was yesterday, at a gas station between Yosemite and San Francisco.
Two weeks ago I bought a box of multigrain Wheat Thins. I’ve been feeling the financial reverberations of that purchase ever since.
Multigrain Wheat Thins are hard, so much so that one of them busted a filling off my back-left molar. I thought the repairs would be minimal, since it didn’t hurt, but the dentist said she wanted to replace several of my childhood fillings, to the tune of thousands of dollars. I acted like I wasn’t fazed by the prices and told her I’d mull it over for the night and call back tomorrow to schedule appointments.
My cover was blown a few minutes later, when I tried to pay my $160 examination bill: DENIED. I made a phone call to a loved one, who covered the bill.
I got a paycheck three days later and immediately paid my rent, utilities and about $400 in student loans, half my monthly total. I drove to Yosemite that Friday for a trip that was largely already paid for.
On the way home, I stopped to get gas: DENIED, again. My brother lent me enough money to get home and cross the Oakland Bay Bridge.
When I got to my apartment, I checked my balance: Negative $16.57. I didn’t realize, while tucked away in the wilderness that my monthly expenses had crept above my earnings.
I called my dad, who deposited $20 in my account so as to avoid any penalties. Now, with nine days left until my next check, I must live on a credit card. It’s a terrible feeling.
This blog was created in a fit of panic. I was scrambling for ways to chip away at my debt, 100% of which is education-related. And now here I am, adding to it.
That panic is back, which is why I’m writing this post, the first of many to come.
I’ll hit the streets with my guitar next week, at least once.
See you then.