Missing Money

Last week, I checked my credit card account only to discover I was over budget by nearly $1000.

What.

The.

Heck?

It threw me into a bit of a panic.  How could we possibly have spent an extra grand without knowing it?

We didn’t buy new furniture.  We didn’t buy new computers. We didn’t buy a new car. We didn’t take any trips.

Oh, wait.

I did take a trip.  I went to work headquarters for three days.  That’s about a $500 mileage allowance, plus three days of restaurant meals.

I forgot to file my expense report.

That’s where my money went.

Somehow, in all of life’s wonderful hustle, I neglected to ask my company for the almost $1000 they owe me.  That’s an oversight, for sure.

Luckily, we keep that much padding in our other accounts, so I don’t have to pay interest on that money, but still.

That’s my money and I forgot about it.

I’m so not happy with myself.

What’s worse, is that even though I figured out the problem last week, I still haven’t gotten that expense report filed.

It’s not procrastination, I swear.  I’ve just been absentminded and keep forgetting to do it.  Right now, I’ve got “EXPENSE REPORT” written on my whiteboard to remind me to file it.

Cuz I’m going to do it tomorrow.

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My New Windfall

Tax season is over.

money

money (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

This year, TurboTax and Amazon teamed up to offer me a 10% on up to $1200 of my refund if I took it as an Amazon gift card.

$120 free if I spend that money with a company I’m going to spend money with anyway?

Yes, please.

I spend lots of money with Amazon.  I subscribe to many of my household items there, because I use them and I don’t want to have to think about buying them.  I get my soap, shampoo, toilet paper, paper towels, and garbage bags automatically delivered.  There’s a bunch of other stuff, too, but that’s what I remember off the top of my head.  If I have 5 items in a monthly delivery, I get 20% off.

Free money, free shipping, and none of the hassles of shopping?

Yes, please.

So now I have a $1320 credit with the company I use for most of my non-grocery shopping.

I also have 962 items on my wishlist with Amazon.

To recap: $1320 burning a hole in my metaphorical pocket and 962 items that I have wanted at some time in the past, begging me to bring them home.

That’s a dilemma.

The smart answer is, of course, to let that money hide in Amazon’s system and slowly drain out to pay for the things I actually need.

The fun answer is to stock up on games and books and toys and gadgets and cameras and, and, and….

Some days, it’s hard being a responsible adult.

I think I’m going to compromise with myself.  I’ll leave the vast majority of the money where it is, but I’ll spend a little bit of it on fun stuff, and a little bit more on stuff I don’t quite need, but would be useful, but not so useful that I’ve already bought it.

A new alarm clock to replace the one next to my bed that automatically adjusts for daylight savings time but was purchased before they changed the day daylight savings time hit so I have to adjust the time 4 times per year instead of never.  That’s on the list of not-quite-needs.

The volume 2 book of paracord knots is on the list of wants that can’t possibly be considered a need, but it’s going to come home, anyway.

I figure, if I spend a couple of hundred dollars on things I really, really want, I’ll scratch that itch and leave most of the money alone.

What would you do with a $1300 gift card at a store you shop at every week that sells every conceivable thing?  Spend it right away, or stretch it out, or something else?

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The Lord Will Provide

Debtors like to make excuses.When I used to work collections, I'd try to work out a payment plan to get people out of debt, and I often heard "The Lord will provide" as their only excuse for not paying the money they owed.That's crap.  It's … [Continue reading]

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Paying for Rat

I'm cheap.  I don't even consider myself to be frugal.  I'm cheap.  A few days ago, I spent my entire year's Halloween budget--on November 1st--so I could store my new treasuresfor an entire year before using them, just to save … [Continue reading]

6 comments