Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

A New Day Has Dawned

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Total Black: $450.75
Total Red: $230,611.32

Unemployment benefits came through overnight.  New York state pays $405 a week maximum regardless of how much you earned last year.  Given that I owe back taxes, I’ve opted to have federal income tax withheld from my unemployment payments.  That means I net about $385 or so.  Three hundred of that is already promised in checks I cut this morning.  $199.61 to the law firm I worked for, for my monthly COBRA payment.  I also sent $50 to SallieMae and another $50 to a credit card.  That leaves me with approximately $85 until next week’s $405.  But I’ve been making ends meet on less, so that’s a near jackpot.  I have to use some of that for dry cleaning.  The rest will probably go for food.  That’s alright though.  Rent’s already been paid.  Living in Manhattan I don’t really have commuting expenses.  Utilities aren’t paid for yet, but that can wait until next week.  And I do have the interview later today for the temp job.  Things are stable for the moment. 

I was pleasantly surprised this morning to wake up to a new day.  Yes, literally, but also figuratively.  In What Is This, Sarcasm? I explained Bank of America’s voodoo accounting practices.  The bank had said it would be implementing a new policy.  I touched on that in Small Town Boy in the Big City.  Well, believe it or not, it’s happened.  Two transactions had been pending in my checking account for the past few days.  One was a purchase of a coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts.  The other was an Amazon.com purchase I made months ago, before I undertook this project.  Precisely the same scenario as in Small Town Boy in the Big City, just that in that case it was Barnes & Noble not Amazon.com.  And in that case, I got slapped with a thirty-five dollar insufficient funds fee.  This morning, however, I didn’t.  The book purchase overdrew my account by seventy-seven cents.  Then the coffee purchase posted for $1.73, overdrawing my account by a total of $2.50.  A month ago that would have meant two $35 fees: a total of seventy dollars.  In this new world, I didn’t get any fees assessed.  None!  That alone will make a difference in this uphill climb because I’ve lost so much money to Bank of America because of fees for such insignificant transactions.

Bank of America keeping its word was such a surprise that it made my day.  It’s those little things in life, eh?

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