What A Difference A Day Makes

I got paid yesterday. The first paycheck as a Core employee for the company I’ve been a Contractor for since February.

Since I’m motivated by money, this was a big deal to me. Working in Payroll and Finance, with close partnerships in the HR and Benefits departments, I made sure to get set up right, right out of the gate.

Ten percent direct deposited to my savings bank.

Ten percent to the 401k, more than maxing out the company match.

The rest direct deposited to my household spending account.

In November when the next Offering Period for our Employee Stock Purchase Plan begins, I want to slide another ten percent into that – assuming the stock doesn’t blow up this quarter. Employees buy at a 15% discount, so it’s always a good return, but with stock prices depressed across the market I admit that I’m sad I couldn’t participate in the current OP.

Anyway, after setting myself up in what I deemed an optimal scenario, I was happy to see that the direct deposit to my household spending account still covered my rent in one pay period. I’d been worried.

There was also some concern over my direct deposit set up. My household bank is a credit union, which is famous for randomly declining purchases. This usually happens with online purchases, but in the back of my mind was a worry that this would be the time they reject an ACH deposit.

This is my life, after all.

That secondary worry could be in part because of my secondary account. It’s an online bank, so things are a little different with them. “Different” meaning some organizations just won’t do business with them. I’ve found that out the hard way a couple of times. Once while trying to set up automatic payments for my car loan and again when setting up direct deposit with Robert Half-Ass.

Both bad scenarios. So when my alarm went off at 7 on Friday morning, I logged right into my credit union’s app. No easy feat with my old and still-sleepy eyes. But I was greeted with relief. Relief that increased by a full factor when I switched over to my online bank’s app.

I’d also been overdue in my rent this month because of the timing of my start as a Core employee and the final pay shenanigans over at Robert Half-Ass. But my landlord is pretty chill – and I think appropriately grateful for having a consistent tenant.

Anyway, because of that relationship with my landlord, getting him trued up for August was a priority. Ergo, by 7:01 my household account balance was $4.

That was depressing. Not as depressing as the immediate realization that my paycheck two weeks from yesterday was going to have to go to September’s rent to avoid being late.

Ugh. If I’m going to have a bank account like a poor twenty-something, could I please have the body to go along with it instead of this decaying bag of fat water I’m stuck in?

Sure, just get on the Peloton and stay out of the bar.

<looks around> Did you just hear something?

But in a display of one of my favorite things – an Attitude of Gratitude – I admitted that I still had my savings. On top of that, I have Angela, which means I can make money doing deliveries any evening I choose.

Very lucky, am I.

All of that is a very long introduction to the text I received from mom later that afternoon. She and dad were calling a breakfast meeting. It’s funny because I’d been B-reeling how to reach out to them to tell them I missed our weekday breakfasts when they come to town for doctor appointments.

Smash cut to this morning when I sidle into the Dockside and sit down in the center of my side of the booth without realizing there’s two menus and setups on my side. When mom points it out, my first thought is “Weird”.

Don’t get me wrong, most of my thoughts are weird, but in this case it was the actual adjective, since we’re never a foursome. The Dockside peeps know this.

This is what I’m thinking about to the point of distraction. Which caused a delay in my normal defenses when mom joked that they had invited someone they wanted me to meet.

I blinked a few times to mentally switch gears and catch up. Then I announced that my brother was joining us and ten minutes later, he obliged my prestidigitation.

Ten minutes after that my mom announced she couldn’t wait any longer and pulled two envelopes out of her purse and dropped one in front of each of us.

Then she switched them around.

And then back.

Our names were on the envelopes, making that scene imminently enjoyable.

Yes…grandpa’s probate finally closed! I’d talked myself into the likelihood that my uncle had either fled the country or mom and dad decided to use the money – their money, not mine or my sibs’ – to move into town.

You can tell my brother and I are related because neither of us opened the envelopes.

After another ten minutes or so, mom called us out on our withholding. Inside the envelope was a handwritten note:

Wait, that’s not right. Lemme try again, I know I kept it…

From $4 in my checking account yesterday to holding a check with as many zeroes over the course of breakfast at a greasy spoon? Like the title says…what a difference a day makes.

My hands were actually trembling. My usual wit-on-tap was tapped out. There, in that corner booth of a Portland-infamous diner a rare thing occurred: I was speechless.

Mom wanted to know what we planned to do with the money and I had no answer. I’d been looking forward to them sharing enough to allow me to pay off the credit card debt I hate carrying. No one was impressed when I tried to float that answer as acceptable.

I do know it’s not quite what I’d wanted to put down on a condo when I was kicking that around last year, nor would I buy in this market. It is nice to at least know what I’m not going to do with this windfall.

I’ve been sitting on this for a few hours now and I still don’t know what the right answer is. This is pretty life changing money when received in a fairly out-of-the-blue envelope. I think I’m going to lean into something that came out earlier in this post and transfer 75% of it into my savings account once the funds are released. That’ll leave me enough in my household account to pay my bills off and take a respectable chunk out of what I still owe on Angela. My savings account has à la carte investing, so it might not be a bad idea to put it there and just…not know what to do with it for a while.

Gotta go, can’t see through the tears in my eyes.

What A Difference A Day Makes

12 thoughts on “What A Difference A Day Makes

  1. God knows you gotta love legacy money. I wouldn’t know because my father walked out of his father’s going concern lumberyard before I was born. And out of his lumber wholesale business when his health and brain collapsed. My brother and I split a dented on every corner Dodge Omni, an electric typewriter and close to a hundred Bic lighters he walked out with from the Convenience store/gas station where he worked on the way to dying. His foldout couch smelled like an ashtray, his socks were worn out and his towels resembled gauze. But I still miss him. Money can’t buy everything, it’s true but, as Mark Twain said, The lack of money is the root of all evil…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Grandpa surprised everyone. We knew he had his house, past that he lived pretty frugally. Imagine the brothers’ surprise when they were told there was an unknown bank account with $100k sitting in it.


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