The other day I learned my biggest lesson ever in keeping track of my finances. Here’s the back story.
After living in my apartment for a couple months I set up auto pay so I didn’t have to think too much about making my payments. This had been working perfectly for a while so I kind of got in the habit of not double checking my online banking to confirm the payment went through. Recently, I signed up for an airline miles credit card. There was some deal where if you spent $1000 dollars in the first 90 days you got 30,000 bonus miles. With that considered I decided to pay one month of rent on that card. What I didn’t realize was that by doing that I deactivated auto pay for the future.
When this month’s rent payment came around it ended up being late because I didn’t bother to check to see if my auto pay went through. When I got the letter notifying me that it was late I went straight to go pay my bill online with a credit card. Paying with a credit card on my system makes you send in a text confirmation after submitting. I guess this text confirmation didn’t work this month though. The other day I came home from work to another letter about my rent payment. At first I just thought it was another notice saying my payment hadn’t gone through. It turns out it was actually a letter saying I needed to move out in 48 hours because I hadn’t payed.
This instantly made me freak out. If the situation would have ended badly I don’t have a car and I don’t have my family near… I knew I had tried to pay so I went to dig into the situation further. Apparently the text confirmation never went through and my payment had sat in pending mode all week so my leasing office thought I never paid. So there we have another situation where I should have been checking my online banking more often. Even when I discovered this I was still freaking out. The leasing office was closed so I couldn’t resolve the situation immediately. They also didn’t open until 9:00 AM the next day. So I had to go into work the next day still worrying about it.
I decided to try to call the leasing office from work first to see if I even needed to go into the office. This process was painful though. It took me 15 calls to get through to someone. Luckily, once I did get through to someone the situation was easy to resolve. I explained the whole situation and they said I didn’t need to move out and that they would wave all late fees. Part of this was also that I had never had issues paying before.
Even though everything turned out fine, this situation taught me that I still have room to improve with keeping track of finances. Being financially responsible is more than just paying on time or setting up auto pay. It is also being aware enough of your daily finances so you don’t end up in this type of situation. I need to not just assume that everything is working out like it should. If I take the time to pay more attention to my daily transactions I will also probably make better spending decisions.