Dumb Money Moves

The past few weeks have been kind of a whirlwind. Thing I’ve learned about startup life: it can be all-consuming very quickly if you let it. That’s a whole post in and of itself.

As the effects of work have spilled over, I have found that my personal time has gotten frayed and I’ve started dropping things. This would normally not be an issue– our bills are mostly on autopay, checklists help us keep track and make sure all the other household items get done on time– but various life changes are putting a wrench into my plans.

Opening new joint accounts. Changing up the money flow between those accounts and our personal ones. Churning here, there, everywhere. Name changes. Estate planning trust junk. Blah blah blah blah blah. I don’t know which one did it, but the camel’s back is definitely broken.

Because of the various account movings, I managed to accidentally overdraw my checking account not once but TWICE in the past two months. Well, actually the first time I overdrew a series of transactions out of a recently-emptied account so that was annoying. I’ve probably paid around $100 in bounced fees at this point? Arggggh.

I’ve made silly costly mistakes in the past that have cost even more money (e.g. booking airline tickets for the wrong week and paying change fees), but somehow this one stings the most. And it’s not like I can be mad at the bank or anything– this all has been entirely my fault. It’s just a feeling of vague frustration on top of all the other feelings of vague frustration that I haven’t the time to process right now so let’s just throw money at the problem and forget about it for the moment, mmkay?

Of course we have the money that these sorts of issues just wind up being a carelessness tax. And I know that in itself is a blessing. And since they happen so rarely (on the order of once or twice a year on average) it really isn’t that big of a deal. Still, it stings. I’ve always thought myself pretty responsible with money, and I mostly still am. But maybe, for a while, I have to give myself slack for letting my focus shift elsewhere and live with things not always being p-e-r-f-e-c-t.

Have you made any dumb money moves lately? 


9 thoughts on “Dumb Money Moves

  1. What a timely post. I just found out this morning that I made a dumb money move recently that I’m kicking myself for. There’s a brand-name medication that I take regularly, and it was covered under my old student health insurance, which was excellent. However, I switched to a marketplace option a few months ago, because I was no longer eligible for the student plan (you have to be registered full-time, which I’m not since I’m graduating soon). I got a refill of said medication without thinking about it and just got a bill for over $100. The generic version, which also works fine, costs less than $10… So not a fan of the marketplace healthcare plans. Better than nothing, but not by much.


    1. Haha, I’ve also had a few prescription pricing-related silly-feeling and painful to me money moves recently. (Though in this category, we can blame our healthcare system, as an attorney who reviewed all the insurance policy plan documents available to me quite closely, I still couldn’t figure anything out.) For my contraception, and to get the generic, with the way my insurance approaches it, it actually costs a lot more on insurance than to buy it retail from Costco or through coupons that one doesn’t need to use with insurance (like GoodRx). What actually happened was that they changed their policy to allow me to get the brand name instead, for a $15/month copay, so the brand name is a better deal now, but all this was done suddenly, without any forewarning that this policy was changing, and on what date, etc. Our prescription drug pricing is absolutely bizarre in this country!

      And in general, my pharmacist couldn’t even tell me what something should cost upfront (like if I’m still working through the prescription drug deductible this month, but want to know what it would cost after I’ve hit the maximum per year deductible). Even they have to guesstimate wildly if I ask before they run it through the system on the actual date I’m getting the refill. (And I totally don’t blame my local pharmacist, who is great and conscientious, it really is the fault of the system.)


  2. I can totally relate to this post! I always feel really awful about those sorts of little money mistakes that arise out of carelessness. I think the one that stings the most (not in terms of total lost dollars, but in terms of showing how extremely clueless I was about money at the time) was when I got my first-ever credit card in college, the entry-level credit card from Bank of America (where I had a student account), and said yes to some kind of strange “credit protection” product they offered, that charged a small monthly fee. To this day, I can’t remember what that product was supposed to do, but it was probably at least six months before I eventually learned it was useless and I should cancel it. I doubt it’s a product they still offer.

    The annoying money mistake that cost me the most was also Bank of America-related, when they changed the policy on their basic checking accounts to charge a 3% exchange fee on all foreign currency withdrawals from ATMs. I had even sort of seen and noticed this policy change when it happened a few months before it was an issue, but somehow didn’t think through the impact it would have on me until I was actually in the middle of a two-week international trip, where I relied on said debit card and ATMs while traveling through places that favored using cash. Womp womp.


    1. A credit card of mine used to have a foreign currency conversion fee and they changed it to a foreign transaction fee. The former is nonexistent when you’re talking about a foreign merchant charging in USD and the former does happen. I don’t use that credit card anymore if I suspect the merchant might be foreign, sadly. I loved my Schwab checking account in Japan and Italy with no/reimbursed ATM fees!


  3. I hate these sorts of things too! Well, how they build up and hit all at once. I remember thinking we were totally going to have an easy transition to married money and then there was all sorts of stuff like this and our postnup that took a lot of exhaustion time.

    I accidentally paid one of my husband’s credit cards from his personal checking account instead of our joint one last week, so now he has to remember to transfer that much less when he transfers his next paycheck. And he accidentally transferred the paycheck amount from savings to checking instead of the other way around. Thankfully, that didn’t overdraw it… I can’t figure out how to delete his personal checking account as a bill pay one so I assigned it to him on our Trello board.


    1. I still have to link/unlink all our checking accounts and double check I’m using the right credit card for each merchant since I just added him to my old Chase Sapphire as our joint card and now I have to differentiate it from everything else ahhhh.


  4. I’m well aware that I’m prone to them when I get busy so I overcompensate by checking accounts a LOT but that wouldn’t help if I were also in the middle of changing names of accounts, opening them, etc.

    You’re not alone!

    I try to remember that the frustration of one mistake OFTEN leads to another so I try to encapsulate the frustration with the moment IN the moment and leave it there. Because I am really that person who starts a chain reaction of mistakes trying to overcompensate.


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