Money Troubles...

by - August 24, 2008

I know this sounds like a blatantly obvious statement, but money (more specifically CA$H) is kind of important, especially when you take a trip. Makana and I found this out the hard way last weekend during our "1-year Anniversay Gettaway" to San Antonio. So if you were ever in doubt about its importance keep reading and learn from our mistake.
Before we left I kept feeling like I was missing something (Maybe some cash dummy!), but I brushed it off and we headed off. Well we got to the Hotel and since it is in the heart of downtown, there was no "free parking" and the hotel parking cost $19/night. There was no way we were going to pay this so I dropped Makana off at the hotel and went in search of cheaper parking. There were plenty of parking lots with parking for $5-6/day and so I pulled into one. Well when I grabbed my wallet to pay for the parking I noticed that I only had $3 (and naturally, none of these parking lots took credit). Well I called Makana and asked "Hey do you have any cash on you?" "Yes" "Great! I need $2 for parking." "Oh, I only have $1 actually." "Are you Serious!?" "Yeah, sorry. We could just use an ATM" "No, they charge too big of fees and I don't know my PIN anyway" (you see, because credit cards charge fees for using ATMs, Makana and I make it a point to never use them and so we have never bothered requesting or learning our PIN numbers) So I said to Makana "Well, I have a debit card, we'll just have to find somewhere to get cash back or an Amegy Bank (a Zions affiliate) nearby." So we drove around downtown San Antonio looking for a store or a gas station where I could fill up and get cash back...but there are no gas stations down town. I then dropped Makana off with my Debit Card and told her to go buy something and ask for cash back...nobody would give cash back. I finally decided to bite the bullet and get charged the fee and so she went to use the ATM. It took me a bit to remember my pin for the Debit Card, for her. "It didn't work..." "What? Why? What did it say?" "It said that there was no balance in the account for me to pull from." "What? That shouldn't be, I have plenty of money in that account...unless, oh shoot!" "What?" "That card is probably for the account that I just closed...I could have sworn that it was for my other account." "So now what?"
It was now a whole hour later from when we got there, she got back in the car and we tried to figure something cash and we didn't have anywhere to park that didn't charge us cash. What a dilemma. Makana then had an idea.."Wait, didn't the hotel say they would just charge our room for the parking?" "Oh yeah, they did say that...but its $19/night" (I know, I'm extremely cheap) "Well we don't have any other option" So problem solved, for that night at least because I was determined to not pay up the nose for parking two nights in a row.
Later that night, I tried calling my credit card company and asking for my PIN number. "well sir I can't give that to you over the phone for security reasons" "Is there anything I can do then? I really need cash" "Well I could tranfer money over to your bank as a cash advance, but it would be costly" "I don't need that, I have plenty of money in the bank...I just can't get access to it to withdraw money from it" "You don't have a debit card! (rather incredulously)" "Yeah, I do, I mean...sort of." "What do you mean?" "I have one for an account that I just closed, but not one for my other account." "Oh, well sorry, I'd like to help you but I can't" "Okay, thanks anyway"
Well Makana had a Bank of America card, but she didn't know her PIN either so that Saturday we woke up and went to a nearby Bank of America to withdraw some from her account. When we got there a man informed us that it was closed. We did have some checks that we could write to ourselves so we asked him if there were any banks open so we could cash a check..."No, they're all closed downtown on Saturdays" Foiled again. "Any place to cash a check?" "There's a cash advance place about 2 blocks from here that probably would." So we set off for the new place in our never-ending scavenger/treasure hunt for cash. Well we finally got there and asked the teller if they could cash a personal check for us and she asked "Are you members?" "No" "Well, there is a $3 charge for that a $100 minimum for personal checks, plus a 16% charge so you would end up only getting $81 out of the 100." "Nevermind" (we could park at the hotel again for that big of a fee and it would come out sixes) Well, we discovered that you could park on the street for free after 6 (and all day Sunday), the trouble was finding a place to park. We decided that we would use 2 of our remaining dollars and park there at 4 so we would be guaranteed a spot the rest of the night. Well it worked, but what a nightmare because we just forgot to bring cash. So be forewarned, even in this increasingly plastic still does serve a very imporant function.

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