Living, Learning & Loving La Vida Nueva

Friday, December 17, 2010

Deposits, fees, deductibles, money suckers.....

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine life could cost so much.  How do people without a reasonable amount of liquid cash live in this world?  As J and I are trying to get settled in for some unknown period (approx 9 months?) of time, in order to have a baby and proceed with a mission board, I am astounded at how much MONEY everything takes!

We went to sign an apartment lease this morning.  There was a $35 application fee.  That is actually quite low compared so some $200 worth of fees we were told about at other apartment places.  But, really, an application fee?  Wait, you want to charge ME to sign my name saying I'm agreeing to pay YOU hundreds of dollars a month to have your roof over my head?  What kind of crazy world do we live in?  Who in their right and reasonable mind came up with the idea of a fee to charge someone filling out an application?!

While we were signing the lease, we were informed that we're required to pay a $600 security deposit.  Goodie.  I get to hope for the next 9 months that I keep the place clean enough to get my $600 back when I move out.  I promise I'll try my hardest.  I do understand this deposit (and at least it was that and not a FEE) and somewhat grudgingly signed the check.

Ahhh, utilities.  Yes, we all use them.  We have no other choice.  So I called the gas company and spoke with the kindest customer service agent.  Really, she was a doll.  She even waved the $150 deposit after she spoke on the phone with my dad (he has a perfect credit report and has used their service for years) who agreed to cosign for his married daughter and pay if we aren't good for the bill money.  Good thing HE trusts us.  Dear lady did tell me NOT to run the gas unless the electricity has been turned on.  So, I called the electric company.  She told me we needed to come into the office to fill out the application. 

I bet that means I get to pay an application fee. 

Before I hung up, she told me that I would need my Social Security card and driver's license.  Oh, and $500 for the deposit.  Um, excuse me, did you say five HUNDRED dollars?  Isn't that like 6 months of electricity anyways?!  Fortunately, we have good credit and they are going to run a credit report to see if they can graciously wave the deposit.  Jonathan even called back and a different lady told him it could either be a $200 deposit or a $500 one.

You mean we get to choose?  Hmm, wonder which one I'M gonna pick.  

Then there's the refundable $10 membership fee.  Wouldn't having refundable and fee in the same phrase constitute calling that a deposit? Regardless, after that we can either pay $65 to have the electricity turned on today (Friday) or $40 for next day service, which in our case means Monday since they don't flip the switches on Saturday or Sunday.  So, J called back to see how much it would be to turn it on Tuesday.  Same thing, $40.  Obviously, it's not a "next day" fee it's an "anytime" fee.  Seriously?  You want to charge me at least $40 to just TURN my electricity on?

Can I just come down and and flip it myself? 

What kind of money sucking game is this?  I think you have Boardwalk AND Park Avenue.  And I'm stuck in jail.  I quit.

Now we're looking into medical insurance.  We can't get anything to cover Kyle until after he is born.  They say we are declined since we're "expectant parents." 

So, I can just see it now.  As the Dr tries to hand Kyle over to the proud daddy, Jonathan is going to say, "Sorry, can't hold him right now, gotta run find some wi-fi to buy his health insurance!"  It's almost humorous; but, it's NOT!  We're looking at "cheap" plans.  That means we get to pay $185 a month and then still pay for everything else out of pocket up to $10,000 for Kyle if he gets deathly ill.  Jonathan better stay fit as a fiddle, or we're out another 10K.  If we were so bold as it try to get a smaller deductible, we'd be forking out $600 month.  What kind of poor newly weds have money for this kind of stuff?  No wonder people wait ten years to have kids.  Good thing I'm covered on my dad's insurance, or we'd really be up a creek.  Thanks, Obama.  Although I don't agree with it, it sure is coming in handy right now.


So, basically, our entire savings is either caught up in deposits or on hold in case we have to use it to pay our insurance deductible.

Oh, I forgot to mention, when I go for my first Dr visit (yes, I said first.  I'm 7 months pregnant and have only seen a Dr one time in Mexico) they are going to take a $225 deposit in case there is stuff my (dad's) insurance doesn't cover.   With their prices, I can't imagine $225 is going to go very far.  But, whatever.

(That's the sound of the money coming out of our bank account.)


1 comment:

  1. Bless your heart, Abby. Your just finding all this out a little early. I did the same thing. Don't worry, life will wear you down before long and you won't get as upset about it anymore. You will come to expect it. As for health insurance, I have come to change my mind about that over the past couple of years. I'm not sure what the answer is but I do think it unfair that someone like you can't insure your baby. Or that people like us have to pay more than our monthly mortagage payment ( a lot!) to insure our family. And it is not great insurance and DH is not covered for a lot of things because he has a preexisiting condition...high blood pressure. People think that those who are having trouble affording their health care are lazy louts on welfare. This is just so not true!