Have you ever
- lost your wallet?
- forgotten to mail a payment?
- misplaced an important financial document?
- overdrawn your checking account?
- spent more than you could afford to spend?
- maxed-out a credit card?
- made any number of finance-related mistakes?
If you answered yes to any (or all) of the questions above – welcome, you are among friends.
Just last month, I mailed a check, which I intended to mail to a local medical center, to the wrong business address – a doctor’s office located just down the road from the medical center.
When I make a mistake, like the one mentioned above, I do my very best to minimize its impact. I have called the medical center, assured them that their payment is on the way. I know that I sounded like a joke from an old comedy skit – “the check is in the mail” – but it was better to call, just to give them a heads up. They were very nice about the whole situation. I get the feeling that this might not be the first time they’ve received such a call. I also called the other doctor’s office. They are searching for the check. I also informed the bank and asked them to cancel the check.
I also look for ways to prevent similar mistakes from happening in the future. In this case, both the doctor’s office and the medical center have nearly identical names and they’re located in the same city – and on the same street! When I looked up the medical center’s name, online, the address for the doctor’s office popped up. I used that address, and the check was mailed to the wrong place.
Why did I have to look the name up online? Because, I spilled water on the original bill, and the address on the bill was smeared beyond recognition. Seriously. I couldn’t make this stuff up. So, from now on, two things: One, I will check and double check that I have the correct name and address on any bill that I pay. Two, I will not eat or drink while paying bills.
It’s going to take a few days – or even weeks – for this issue to work itself out. I’ll stay on top of it, calling both the medical center and the doctor in a few days.
We all make mistakes – goof up and cost ourselves time and money. The key is to minimize the impact of these mistakes, correct them, and learn a few lessons along the way.
Oh, I do believe that this post wins the “least-creative blog post title” award. Rock on, my pf-nerd friends! And, obviously, I’m not trying to down-play the seriousness of our financial mistakes. I’m just saying, once a mistake has been made, the goals should be – face it, deal with it, and improve.