Adventures in Apartment Living: Paying Bills and Talking to Banks


I don't like dealing with money, especially in large amounts. Or paying bills. (Who does, though...)I cannot remember to pay bills on time. I can remember to have enough money in the appropriate amounts, which right now I am handling by the "avoiding spending money method". So automatic bill payment is amazing.*

And grad school pays me quarterly, too, which means it is a very large sum of money, all at once. That I have to use over a period of 3 months. So I need to have an idea of how much to spend and when. Which I really have no concept of, whatsoever.

(Boyfriend is going to help me make a budget soon. And Mint.com is nice, too**, but I also don't know really what to set as reasonable limits for my various financial goals, so I need an actual person. Who know my income. Which is why I am dating an accountant. Well, not really, but it is a perk.) But I like that it gives overviews of EVERYTHING including my student loans and various accounts at different banks (I manage to pick up credit union accounts at several different places that I've lived and I haven't quite managed to close any of them yet, so I've got small amounts of money currently scattered through several banks across the country, which aren't all really accessible, but at least I know how much is in them. And I suppose it is online banking so I can probably move money around and such.)

(And don't worry, I know this is a privileged problem to have.)

Sometimes I need to talk to banks to figure out how to work things out. Like how to set up automatic bank payments. Because bank websites confuse me.*** And that is ridiculously stressful. Because phone conversations and me do not get along best.

But...

Now sometimes banks have this new wonderful feature.

At least Bank of America does.

It has this wonderful button. That says "Chat with a specialist"

Which means I can message a person. Nonverbally. Typing. And get an immediate response. Without really dealing with a person directly.

It is so amazing.

I can ask them when I forget how to find my routing number (I don't have checks... so I can't look at them to figure it out.) I just talked to them to set up automatic bill payment. It took 15 minutes, maybe less. It would have taken me hours to figure it out on the confusing website. And calling things wouldn't have worked and would have ended in me having to hide for a while afterwards and be useless.

But this way, I can get questions answered immediately. Without talking. And it is amazing.

~~~
*Although there seems to be no way to automatically pay my rent, which is unfortunate.
**And also that's why I don't use cash because there isn't a record of my spending so I have NO IDEA how much money I've spent. And then I just get confused and panicky and that's no good.
***So much. It is a good thing I have so many accountant friends because I just cannot understand the numbers on the credit statement. Or how much I have to pay or how it works. But I can check that all the transactions are real, and then you can set up "pay balance in full" and then all is good.

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