Last week, just when I was doing my daily 15-minute routine of checking our budget and our bank account online, I noticed a very unfamiliar payment out of our account. I did not process this payment myself. It was done via Paypal.
I felt weird instantly and it was instinct that prompted me to call the bank straight away to cancel our cards and report the transaction as unauthorised.
When the card was officially cancelled, I was transferred to the Fraud Department. I was advised to wait for the transaction to be posted before I make another phone call so I can escalate the matter and they can finally chase the merchant, Paypal.
Just imagine the hassle and the waste of time on the phone!
I was still on the phone when Mr. Budget Tipster arrived home from work; it took me another one hour. When I was finally done, I told him what happened. The look on his face said it all.
“Explaindio?! WTH! That was my yearly video subscription! I totally forgot about it!”
Well, I wasn’t told about it so it was clearly not on our budget for the month. Lol.
Mr. Budget Tipster was obviously frustrated. He can’t do anything about it despite him trying to request for a refund. The transaction was definitely legitimate. If it was any consolation at all, we won’t get charged next year as it has now been cancelled.
Yes, that money came out of our budget and it was not allocated for. We would have been short of $102.55 for our July budget. But we dealt with it with so much ease and less stress.
How did that even happen?!
I have built a cushion fund that sits in our checking account. This money is purposely not allocated for anything at all. Please take note that this is different from emergency fund and sinking fund respectively. Its job is to rescue us when we commit mistakes unknowingly such as forgetting to allocate a specific budget category just like in this instance. This also happened in June wherein I processed a payment by mistake twice for 2 months and the double payments were not allocated for. This was taken off our cushion account too. Honestly, there was no headache at all!
Mistakes can happen
Just when I thought I have done everything perfectly in July, things would come up when we least expect it.
It is true that life happens and we make mistakes. But instead of focusing our energy on the bad stuff, we need to realise that life isn’t perfect. We are humans after all and sometimes we miss out on little things that affect our decisions in life. Sometimes it is hard but I have learned not to waste my energy on beating myself up anymore. Instead, I’m going to use this as a teaching moment and to better myself.
Mistakes make one feel ashamed and shame makes one want to quit. But for me, a mistake is an indication that there is a lesson that needs to be learned. I look for the lesson in a mistake that I make. When I take the time, energy and effort to dissect it, I discover the lesson. One must forgive themselves, move forward, and keep winning with a positive attitude.
Although the lesson may not reveal itself right away, it will reveal itself in order to help me avoid repeating the same action or choice over and over again.
I understand some more hiccups can happen in anyone’s financial journey. But trust me, the best way to counter it is to provide a cushion before it happens.
Even when you get knocked down many times over in your journey, dust yourself off and just keep moving forward.
Always put your trust in the Higher Power that these mistakes happen for a reason and it is an opportunity to consider it as a teaching moment. Forget the mistake, remember the lesson.