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Earlier this year, I was wandering around wishing sometimes that finances wouldnt involve such difficult choices. Of course, I quickly realized that the fact that I even had these choices to make was a blessing. I’ve been not wanting to write this post for the better part of a year, mainly because it’s filled with some pretty extreme examples of my stupidity – even a few things that I didnt see coming. These are probably the dumbest things I’ve done (financially) for the last 12 months. Lots of these things I initially attributed to the house search/marathon training, etc but once those were over, they kept coming. Here they are, listed in no particular order:
- About a year ago, I went to do some field work for my job. We were just getting ready to close on the house, and had a final walk through scheduled for 4pm on the day that I was supposed to get back. I left my hotel early in the morning, assuming that the “express” checkout worked just like it did at all the other locations at this chain. I simply left as normal, and expected them to check me out like they normally did. Unfortunately they didnt, and when I called and asked what the deal was, they said that I was still in the room (not true) so they charged me an extra night. There wasnt really much I could do about it, so I just paid it and moved on. Approximate cost $100.
- It seems like just when I think that I remember to turn in my library books on time, I get a letter in the mail saying that I need to turn in a book. This seems to happen all the time to me, and I thought I had it fixed by inputting a calendar entry for when the books are due. Seems like sometimes I forget to do that.
Approximate Cost: $8, but ongoing
- Around tax time last year, I filed my taxes and something didnt seem right. I had a feeling that I should owe money because of my job change, etc and turbo tax said I was supposed to get some money back. Well, I went ahead and filed and had someone look them over for me. I screwed them up, so I had to go to a tax professional in town and pay her to sort everything out. I miscategorized my 401k rollover and ended up owing 1000+ on top of getting the pleasure of paying an accountant.
Approximate Cost: $110
Thankfully, these were mostly one-off events and I didnt need to do that much except take the hit when fixing this stuff, as it all eventually went away.
Readers: What financial mistakes have you made lately? How bad were they, and how did you correct them?