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She hadn’t gone out all weekend, instead trading brunch for a five-mile run along the river and going out for binge-watching a new Netflix series. Feeling refreshed on Sunday morning, she sat in bed with her laptop situated right next to Sperry while her coffee sat on her bedside table.
“What should we do today, Sperry?” she asked in a baby voice, clicking into her email.
Deleting one by one, she narrated each one — “Not today, Topshop. Sorry, Ann Taylor Loft. Maybe next week, Madewell. Bye bye, lululemon.” But as she ticked them off one after the other, she saw something unfamiliar in the midst of her promotional emails.
“American Express?” she thought to herself. “That can’t be right, these normally go to dad.”
With her fingers hovering over the trackpad, she debated simply deleting the email and acting like it never existed. But the email’s subject forced her to think otherwise — “Account Alert: Your Spend Tracking” — and she convinced herself to open it.
“Your account has reached the balance amount you set to be notified about,” it read. This was peculiar, as she never set up any alerts for herself. Or, furthermore, she hadn’t logged into her account since last year when she got a fraud alert over Labor Day Weekend that just turned out to be triggered by the $400 charge for a bungalow at a hotel in LA for a bachelorette party.
As she scrolled down the email, it stated:
Your Most Recent Charge: $127.27
Next Statement Close Date: March 9, 2016
“Fuck,” she murmured. “Dad must have set this up for me.” But in an effort to avoid confrontation with him, she decided to delete the email and face the situation in a more personal manner. “Looks like mama needs to start budgeting. Isn’t that right, Sperry?”
Unsure of where to begin, she typed “money management” into Google. Seeing “Mint” as the top result, she had no reason not to immediately click it and create an account. It gave her a step-by-step process for setting her account up, beginning with her bank account.
“Well, I think I have my bank account and routing number somewhere,” she thought. “Ugh, I don’t want to go all the way down to the parking garage to get my last withdrawal slip out of my center console. I’ll just search my email for it…”
“Yup, there it is. Okay, this is easy. I haven’t looked at my Chase account in a while, but I’ll take having $8,097 in my free checking account and $17,243 in my savings account. But this is kind of annoying. Do I have to put in the login info for all of my credit cards? Okay, whatever, let’s just get this over with.”
“Okay, let’s start with that stupid AmEx card that started this whole debacle to begin with… okay, we’re in. Well, it looks like that email was right. Balance of $1,024.34 for this month already. Whatever. And let’s see, I think I can add my Chase Sapphire card too… yup. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen that card in forever… whatever. It’s probably here somewhere.”
“Is there a way I can skip putting in this ‘loans’ part? Like, loans are for poors anyways. Don’t people have parents they can just ‘borrow’ money from instead? Whatever. Next.”
She scrolled to the “Investments” tab, which made her the most puzzled of all.
“I know I have like, stocks and funds or something, but I don’t even know where I’d go to look that up. Ugh, I want to ask but I don’t want my dad to lecture me about my fucking spending. Dammit… I’ll just ask Todd when he comes over later. He’s pretty investy-ish.”
“Okay, now for ‘Properties’ which I obviously know nothing about. I don’t even think I own any properties? Wait, do I own this apartment? Or do I rent it? Or rent to own? Ugh. I don’t knooooow. This is so annoying.”
“Budgeting is so fucking hard,” she grunted just five minutes into beginning her actual budgeting. “I’m just going to make Todd help me. Like, if we’re going to move in together or get married, he’s going to have to deal with this shit anyway.”
She reached across the bed, searching for her phone which was lost somewhere in the depths of her sheets and comforter, only to pull it out and immediately begin texting.
“Hey baby, are you still coming over before we meet Katie and Finn for brunch?” .
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