It Pays to be Financially Organized

While out trying to have fun , frugal, Friday evening, the unimaginable happened. After our trip out, on our way back home, we stopped for gas. As usual, I got out, opened the gas cap, and swiped the debit card….”See Attendant” was the message I received. It was then that it hit me. It was February 1st. My card expired at the end of January. My bank had sent me a letter almost three weeks ago with a new card, and telling me this was going to happen. It was buried under a pile of papers on my desk along with all sorts of other important information. We gathered enough change to get us back home, but it taught me a few important lessons.

  1. I should have made a note somewhere about this. I have several paper based calendars for various functions, as well as a Google calendar that is linked to my email programs’ (Thunderbird) extension. There is no reason why I should have forgotten to activate this new card on time.
  2. I need to create an area for items that require immediate attention. Even if I had not placed this to-do item on a calendar or in a list, I should have had a visual reminder. It would have been easy to have laid this letter on the table by the front door so we would have seen it every time we left the house.
  3. You always need a backup plan. Now I am looking for ways to take care of situations like this should they occur again. Maybe I could keep a couple hundred dollars in my wallet or elsewhere that could be used for emergencies only. We were lucky to only be around thirty miles from home, if we had been on one of our “mini” vacations, we would of had to ask someone to either wire us the money, or actually bring us the cash. Neither option is one I want to face. Even if you keep all things in order, sometimes bank networks fail, communications go down, etc.

There was no reason for this to happen is what keeps annoying me. Sometime this week I am going to get things in order, maybe we can avoid another incident like this for a good long while.

How do you handle situations like this one? Do you have a back up
plan? If so, would you like to share?

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