Monday, June 23, 2008

Grocery Costs

On my last credit card statement, C and I spent approximately $500 on groceries. Some of this spending was a bit more than normal due to my mystery shopping, but the amount just seemed outrageous for a family of two. C and I do try to eat healthy and buy organic products, but I think the real issue was shopping without a list. C and I are both pretty big impulse buyers. So for this upcoming credit card statement (the one we're currently in), I told C that we were going to try to spend $100 or $150, at the most. I figured we would be able to spend a lot less since we did buy a lot of food in the prior month. I'm happy to report that with the credit card statement date almost coming to a close, we're definitely under $150, but over $100. Making goals really does help you improve!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Good News: It Wasn't Fraud; It Was a Bank Error

Well the good news is that the mysterious withdrawal on my account was not fraud - it was just some sort of bank error. I was so happy to get the news that it wasn't fraud, plus I was really busy at work, so I didn't press for too many details. They told me the withdrawal was on an account that didn't match my name or account number. It was just some sort of error. So I got the mystery withdrawal amount back plus they credited me the $25 fee. I'm glad that it's not more serious and I'm thankful that I didn't bounce any checks in the meantime. I think it's pretty embarrassing to bounce a check, especially if writing one to a friend or family member. And then they also get hit with a fee. Would the bank also reimburse that fee? I can see how one bounced check can lead to cascading fees.

Thanks to those who commented and provided support. And by the way, it was Bank of America who made the error. Earlier today I tried to deposit some checks at the ATM, but they were out of deposit slips. That one branch had 3 ATMs around the outside, so I was pretty disgruntled about that. I was going to deposit over $1K.

All of these annoyances are making me think - is it time to get a new bank? I keep BofA for their ATM network, but I know that there are banks out there that will reimburse you for all ATM fees. I don't want to make too many financial changes at once, so I'll probably hold off for now.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Fraud Troubles?

I think that I have been a victim of some sort of identity theft. I noticed an unusual transaction in one of my bank accounts on Saturday. The transaction was for a cash withdrawal from Friday for an unusually large amount. I immediately asked my husband if he withdrew the money, even though he never uses that bank account. He didn't.

I was pretty frustrated that I wasn't able to report the fraud until today (I hate waiting for business hours), but I called it in and reported it today. My bank promised to get back to me within 48 hours.

This unusual transaction caused me to be overdrawn on my account - the first time ever in my life. I was almost overdrawn earlier in May since I forgot about a check I wrote to my cousin for his new baby (I don't like to keep a lot of money in this checking account - I use this bank mostly for their network of ATMs). That time it was the weekend, I realized that I had a bill payment scheduled for Monday for $10 more than I had in my account, so I just went and made a deposit at the ATM during the weekend.

I hate being overdrawn, but I don't want to deposit anymore money into my account until they figure out what happened. I don't want to give the fraudster access to any more of my money. And my bank promised to reimburse me for any fees related to fraudulent activity