Monday, March 19, 2007

Gone in 60 Seconds (or Four Days)

I am a bit of a financial neophyte.

I mean, I have had a few savings accounts at one bank or another for as long as I can remember, but it has really not gone beyond that for me. In high school I flirted with having a checking account, mostly excited to write checks and feel all "adult". But , since I didn't really have any bills that neccesitated writing checks, and I found the process of writing a check at a store to pay for something entirely to cumbersome, that kind of fell to the wayside. And when I went off to college I reverted back to having just a savings account and that's where I've been.

They call me a dinosaur, me with my money orders and my paying cash all the time. It works for me though, and I like it. It doesn't bother me to go to the bank to withdraw cash, and I like that the folks at the Auburndale Post Office know me by name because I am always there getting money orders to send off to my car insurance, credit card, electric company.

But finally, at 27 years old, I relented and decided that at least having an ATM card would probably be a good idea. So I shocked the people at Sovereign when I sat down with an account manager the a few weeks ago and signed up for one. And I tell you, she was THIS close to getting me to open a checking account/getting a check card. But, baby steps you know? Maybe when I turn 28.

Anyway I gleefully told my friends and family "I signed up for an ATM card!" like a cave woman who discovered fire 10 years later than everyone else. And I waited patiently almost two weeks for it to arrive and when it did, last Tuesday I handled the cool plastic card and felt like I held the key to a new club. As I found myself immersed in the world of drive thru ATMs, and Sovereign ATMs at all CVSs, I realized I have really been missing out. This is great! If I want to take out money, I don't have to run to the only branch that is open past 5PM (that is really out of my way). Hell, I can take out money PAST NOON ON SATURDAY.

If that isn't living, I don't know what is.

Until Saturday morning, when I realized that the night before? I had left my ATM card in the machine.

In my defense, I had just spent over two hours navigating Rt 128 in a Nor'easter, and as I was huddled up to the drive thru ATM, sleet and ice and snow whipping all around me, wind howling in my ear, and my only thought was "grab that money before it blows away".

Then on Saturday my only thought was "THIS IS WHY I HATE ATM CARDS". I never had to deal with the stress of a lost ATM card before, and I found it highly unfair and a nasty initiation into the world of ATMs to have to experience it a mere four days after getting one for the first time.

But the people at Sovereign customer service were very understanding when I called to get a replacement. They even attempted once more to offer me a checking account/check card to which I responded "Let me try and hold on to an ATM card for more than a week, then we'll talk".

Baby steps, you know.


Princess Extrordinaire said...

I am proud of you for getting the ATM card - go easy on yourself - like you said - baby steps!

LooLoo said...

I've left my card in the machine about 10 times, trust me, you'll do it again. And no, there is not a worst feeling in the world.

Anonymous said...

Stick with the ATM card. I left my debit card at Olive Garden in Springfield, once. I was still living in Worcester at the time, but it was still an hour drive one way the very next day to go retrieve it.

san said...

OH NO! The snow and ice whipping all around you must have been really LOUD, too, because it usually beeps when you forget to take your card out of the ATM machine ;)

Sarah said...

yeah i pretty much just grabbed my money, immediately rolled up my window and grove off. Not Smart!

Lys said...

It's a process. Eventually you will get used to the ATM card. However, should your debit card offer some rewards (like my USAA card offers cash back), you might want to think about it down the road.

K said...

just out of curiousity, what is the difference between an ATM card and a debit card?
(as you may be able to tell from the superfluous "u", i am canadian and to me, they are the same)