Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Large Print Giveth... and the small print taketh away*

Actually it isn't print that is giving and taking - it's life. I've had a weird financial roller coaster couple of weeks. For example:

Sending in my emergency room visit bill to Flex Plan is smart.
Holding onto the cashed check in my savings account through the end of May to get the interest on it (since the bill wasn't due until June 9th) was also smart.
Forgetting to pay said bill until June 13? Dumb.

Lesson learned - I pay all my bills online, so I set them up and forget about them. Either always do that or pay the bill right away. Thinking I will remember a week later is a recipe for disaster.

I just got the bill for the balance of what I owed my lawyer for handling the divorce.
Paying him half when I had the cash was smart.
Hoping he might forget about me and just not send a bill for the rest? Dumb.
To make matters worse, the bill is $200 more than I expected. (Court fees.)

Lesson learned - People are going to want to get paid. That is just the way the world works. Hoping someone will "forget" a debt is just naive. Plan on paying it and make the arrangements to do so. (And per the first lesson I will set it up in my online bill pay today.)

Awhile ago I wrote about going to Cedar Point. This was a hard decision for me - I am trying to be so, so frugal and careful about extra spending, but on the other hand Maureen had asked me to go and had offered to help offset my costs. While there, I did end up spending my entire entertainment budget for the month, which seems dumb, seeing as I am only halfway through the month, however while on the trip:
I found out my friend Stasia has moving boxes I can use. Free boxes with little hassle. Smart.
My friend Randy offered me the use of his gym/pool at his apartment. Free gym? Smart!
I also chatted with someone out about a business opportunity.** It is a great opportunity, but I am not sure I am in the best space to take it on. Still - being open to new ideas? Very smart!

Lesson Learned - Sometimes you do have to just say yes. I had a wonderful time on my trip and it was like a mini-vacation. It also put me in contact with friends and opportunities I would not have known about. Being open to what the universe has to offer is very, very important.

*Tom Waits, "Step Right Up"
** I am not going to write about it here until I make decisions about it.

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