I have never put myself out there as a grand financial wizard. My math skills are functional… usually. But last week, in a rush to get bills lined up and ready to pay this week, I had an error that was… almost catastrophic!
It was a simple task. Or so you would think. The gas bill (averaged payment) is $71 a month. In my haste to confirm payment for the month of July, I forgot a decimal point. Our bill paying service connected to our credit union took me at my word and paid out $7100. Seven thousand and one hundred dollars!???
Needless to say, we were charged fees for a “bounced” check even though I called and requested a stop payment. The reversal is in the works… and eventually we will have it all straightened out. It has taken multiple phone calls by me and my husband, for, you see, the credit union in all of its pin-headedness will not let ME talk with the bill pay service since only my husband is on the account. They actually told me “well, we always list the husband as primary on our accounts.” Really? REALLY? Shades of the 1940s.
In a first-world problem sort of way, we are all victims of the automated financial world where we live and work. A human would have seen the obvious OOPS and fixed it (or called.) A computer program can’t do that. Don’t get me wrong, now. Computers are wonderful. Computers save a lot of time on little repetitive tasks.
Unfortunately, computers can’t fix stupid. And this problem was of my own making.
Tonight I sat with my ledger sheet and checkbook and wrote by hand the checks that are due between now and the end of the month. I found stamps (A MIRACLE!) and stuffed envelopes. “Old school” bill paying is a lot more time-consuming, but in the end, I’ll only be out the postage… not $7100!!