I LIVE paycheck to paycheck.

It's not easy, but it's also not uncommon. Unfortunately, I've fallen victim to the "overdraft" conspiracy. Bank says "don't be embarrassed by declined transactions." OK. "But we're gonna charge a fee." OK.

So I'm overdrawn $129. It happens. My paycheck covers it and leaves me $130. Not enough for any household.

So I give up the smokes and the beer and get the necessities - food, gas, cell phone.

Three transactions the day I get paid. Why am I still overdrawn?

I checked my balance Friday morning. What happened between then and Monday? I didn't buy anything else. Turns out, transactions made last payday came due. Say what? Weren't they paid last week? Wasn't my money available like the bank said it was on Friday morning?

I'm not a banker, and maybe there are things I don't know.

But how can the bank charge me an overdraft fee for funds they said were available? Am I crazy? Tell me again why we bailed them out?

Tia Manon, Malvern