Financial PTSD: Facing your money vulnerabilities (again)


Wednesday, I had told more than a few people who'd asked, would be the day, or thereabouts: the one when my biggest and most regular freelance check would arrive in my bank account. I needed to pay my mortgage payment (just past the grace period, again); my gas bill, my student loans, the cost of a dozen pounds of butter through a friend's buying club (I bake nearly all of my family's breakfasts and treats). I told my husband he could pay his great-uncle back for some money he'd borrowed; I told my son I'd buy him the full version of an iPod skater game (if he did his chores, of course). I had a list in my head: diapers, a big bag of flour, a new pair of shoes for the youngest.

Wednesday, a call was announced, to discuss this month's check. "No bad news," the email said. Perhaps we don't all have the same opinions about the nature of news; on the call, I learned an accounting change meant we wouldn't be getting this check for two more weeks (and the next month's, and the next: no catch-up, no take-backs). Past the 30-day late date for my mortgage; I'd now have to come up with two payments at once, a near-impossibility. Past the cancellation date for our health insurance. Past a lot of things.