This is not the post I had planned for today; in fact, I didn’t even have this post planned to be written at all. I thought I was past the worry, the doubt, the fear. The fear of “Can I purchase enough groceries with the money I have” and the fear of “how the hell are the bills going to get paid”.
Yes, The Budget Mama was in tears yesterday at the grocery store trying to purchase food for my family because we had no money.
This blog is all about my family’s real life on a budget and it ain’t always pretty and today’s story show cases how horribly wrong it went.
Monday I had a baby appointment and after I got home, I decided to sit down and get some work done. While finishing up some blogging to-dos I remembered that I had not had my money minute in days. So, I logged into our bank account and to my utter horror, there was almost no money in our account.
Completely, panicked I transferred money from our slush fund so the automatic bills and savings withdrawals would not bounce. Then looking over our transactions asking, “What the hell happened?” I noticed several charges from my husband’s doctor to the tune of hundreds of dollars.
I was confused as to why there were so many charges and why the amounts were different than what we normally pay and not to mention that my hubs had not seen that doctor in recent memory. I called Pat to confirm that these charges were not supposed to happen. He told me that he was not sure why they charged us but that he would find out.
The first round of calls to them resulted in me having to call Wells Fargo to dispute the charges because my hubs’ doctor claimed they had not charged us and therefore they were not sure why we would see these charges, as they collected no money from us.
After almost an hour on the phone, filing our claim the panic had subsided but only for a moment as I realized that I had very little money to go grocery shopping with and we were low on food. The dispute was going to take up to 10 days so we were definitely not going to see our money for at least another 10 days if not longer and I did not want to keep pulling money out of our slush fund.
To say that I was in a tailspin is putting it lightly. I was in full on freak-the-hell-out-and-scream-cry-break-something mode. I once again felt that helpless, lost feeling I felt at 21 not knowing where or how I was going to feed myself, but now I had three other people to feed plus a puppy and I have no choice but to eat since I am 17 weeks pregnant. Going hungry was not an option this time around.
A few hours later my hubs called me back and told me that apparently his doctor’s office had put our payment information in another patient’s file and so they charged us his bills, including his past due ones. His doctor office told us to just keep the dispute with the bank and that is how we would get our money because they were not going to refund us our money.
Now I was angry.
My husband’s doctor has all over his website, business cards, and other marketing materials that he “operates with a Christian framework”. Apparently, I missed the lesson in Sunday school where they tell you it is perfectly okay to break commandant number eight if you are a business and you made a mistake. That it is okay to allow someone else, in this case my bank, to pay for your mistake.
My husband had to take away my car keys from me (no that is not an exaggeration) because I was getting in the car to go and give his doctor a piece of my mind…and possibly go to jail. I was angry. So damn angry and still am a little as I see in my checking account a $6.14 balance.
But in my heat of fury, this reminder came to me:
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear? For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:31-33 NKJV
God provided for me all those years ago when I was broke and alone and I know that he will still provide for us even now. That $6.14 balance may stress me out but the truth is that is more money than I had when I was broke at 21. We still have money in our slush fund, auto fund, emergency fund, and my zombie apocalypse money so even though we have less money than I am comfortable with, we still have money.
There is always hope and we can always make more money if it all dries up. My hubs’ doctor is supposed to be sending us a check now for the money they took, but even if they do not it will be alright, because the one thing that I have to remind myself to never let go is hope.
God has provided me an amazing reminder of the things that I preach on The Budget Mama and so much more. My hope and prayer for you, is that if you are struggling due to unforeseen circumstances or by your hand, that you will never ever lose hope. Because “only in the darkness can you see the stars.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
When the money runs out, never lose hope.
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