I went for a walk the other day. I told myself it was to save money on gas or to get some exercise, but it was most likely to clear my mind. I walked in the pouring rain with my polka dot umbrella to the library. I had one mission in mind: get the money that was owed to me, but more on that later.
I put on my junkiest sneakers and walked through puddles to get to my destination. As much as I felt that my environment could be perfectly complimented with the background music of Animal Crossing, I decided to opt out of music for two reasons: my road has twists and turns and I have to listen for cars and I wanted to be alone with my thoughts about money and the like.
My first stop was the library. Earlier that day I had written a letter to my former employer. I paid for my health insurance for the past three months but my paperwork was never submitted. After some phone tag with my doctor and insurance company, I learned I had paid over four hundred dollars and received no coverage. I wrote a stern letter and walked into the library, somehow sopping wet despite the umbrella, and printed it at the computers available. I do not own a printer because it is almost never necessary to print my documents, but this was different because I decided to get this letter notarized.
Of course, I had to look up what a notary public actually does and what their purpose was before I went through with this. Part of this wonderful adulting adventure is figuring out these things as they become necessary. After my trip to the library, I walked to the town hall and signed my strongly worded letter in front of a notary public who then stamped and signed it, verifying that I was the signer and that there had been a witness present. Some may ask why I went through such trouble, but to that my answer is simple.
As twenty-somethings, the world knows it can screw us over when it comes to finances. Really, how often do you check your bank account and go through every charge on your debit card? I certainly do but not as often as I should. From the moment we sign up for student loans at eighteen years old, we are expected to dive into the financial world while understanding very little about it. My highest loan rate is currently at a whopping 7.2%. When I bought my first car six months ago (alone, without a “real” adult or a man as my parents had always advised) the dealer came to me offering a 3.9% interest rate on my new car. I told them 0.9% or I would walk. When I said this, they frankly told me that I couldn’t possibly have a credit score worthy of that percentage. As they explained this, I pulled up my account showing my high credit score. Luckily I got what I wanted after they ran the numbers. I was twenty two years old. The car dealers never expected my finances to be in order. We have a responsibility to be more aware about our money because so often we can be cheated out of it.
After having my letter notarized and brought it to the post office. I sent off my letter formally requesting the $441 dollars that my employer owes me. I felt good about what I had done and reflected on this as I walked the mile home.
I wish I could say that was the end of the story. I wish I could say I was reimbursed the amount that I requested. Instead, I found in my next direct deposit (what should have been my last paycheck) was missing $441. I am now owed $882. So here I am, waiting for my money, all set to write another letter on Monday, print it at the library, have it notarized, and mail it out again.
I went on a walk to clear my head from financial stress and perhaps to save a little gas money. I went on a walk because I was angry and I knew the fresh air would be good for me. My little adventure unfortunately reminded me how easy it is to be taken advantage of financially. My advice is to stay aware and alert, to fight back when you are owed money and to fight harder when it is owed to you by someone in a position of power. My advice is to stay vigilant, but to take that walk in the rain when you need to get money off your mind.