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Carelessness and Procrastination

October 29, 2010

I threw away an envelope with about $200 in it sometime last week.

T had been keeping some cash left over from our wedding gifts in a white envelope, and we’ve been using it for various things ever since April.  The envelope got moved from it’s super secure hiding place… to a tissue box that was sitting on our kitchen counter.  In a flurry of tidying up the masses of papers that attack our kitchen regularly, it landed in the garbage.

By the time we discovered it was missing, the garbage had been taken out, and the trash man had taken it away. I almost cried. Well, maybe it wasn’t almost… maybe I did cry!  I felt so bad, plus, there went $200!

While I make a conscious effort to keep track of my things, I have been known to misplace, forget, or otherwise lose relatively expensive objects in the past.  It just happens sometimes, especially when I’m out of my routine, or when I have no idea that there is a white envelope with cash in it in the kitchen in the first place.  This has an impact on finances, and while it is negligible compared to pretty much anything else, it is one of those things that drives me CRAZY because it is so preventable!   I do my best, but at my core, I’m just a bit scatterbrained, and I can’t seem to totally eradicate that.

One the flip side of the coin, T spends money to be overly cautious and sometimes wastes money via procrastination.  There was one phone call he was supposed to make that would get our rent reduced by about $60/month, and after he procrastinated for MONTHS on it, I finally took care of it.  He also wanted to get trip insurance for our big vacation, and would rather that I just pay to cover him on my health plan rather than researching whether or not it is necessary.  His Roth IRA is being regularly contributed too, but it is still sitting in cash (much to my dismay!).

This is a metaphor for our relationship as a whole.  I’m quick to take action, but sometimes I take the wrong ones in my haste.  I don’t like to leave things undone, and I’m happiest once a plan is made.  He’s thoughtful, deliberate and careful.  While the really important things are always done on time (papers, rent payments, schoolwork) little things regularly are put off.  Decisions are put on hold for no reason, but wrong decisions are rarely made.

In many other ways, we are very similar, two peas in a pod.  In this respect, I’m glad we balance each other out so well.  It makes for a really good partnership.  I am generally the one with more long term ideas and plans, pushing things ahead, assuming it will probably work out fine.  He’s the one making sure I don’t plan us into a situation we’ll regret, and making sure we are being cautious enough.

Have you ever wasted money because you carelessly lost something?  How about because you DIDN’T do something you should have?

18 Comments leave one →
  1. October 29, 2010 4:46 am

    Sorry to hear that. I know that feeling. The most recent example I have of something like that was a few years ago, my grandma had given my girlfriend at the time (now, my wife) some cash for Christmas. After we were cleaning up, she couldn’t find it. We turned the house upside down, went through the garbage, nothing. For years, she felt bad about it. Luckily, ours had a happy ending. Three years after that, I was cleaning out some old boxes and came across a box for a digital camera that we had purchased that year. I pulled out the paperwork and found….the lost $50.

    Here’s hoping you have a good ending, if not at least hope someone finds it and it makes a difference in a life somewhere.

    • October 31, 2010 6:22 pm

      I know – I really hope someone found it and it didn’t just go to a dumpster and… rot away!

      I’m glad you found your $50!

  2. October 29, 2010 6:01 am

    You & T sound like me and BF.

    You being me, and T being BF of course, seeing as I like to plan but I like to get things done on impulse whereas he plans out to the T.

    I’m so sorry you lost your $200 😦 I would have definitely shed some tears over that.

    The only thing that works for me (and I think might for you), is not to keep money in envelopes. I see it too easily as something to toss (seeing as I’m a minimalist and I am TRYING to limit my paper and clutter).

    When I have money, I either put it right into the bank, into my wallet to put into the bank, or … nope, that’s it.

    I never leave money just lying around in an envelope any longer, nor do I leave cheques in their original packaging. Everything goes into my wallet and stays there because I’ll never toss my wallet 😛

    • October 31, 2010 6:20 pm

      I totally agree about not keeping money in the envelopes – that was a bad idea! When we (ie, T) deposited the checks, I was surprised to realize he had kept the cash. I expressed mild opposition, but i kind of just let it go. Next time, he may agree with me 🙂

  3. October 29, 2010 6:57 am

    I lost a Macy’s gift card with about $30 on it. Chad still reminds me of it every once in a while.

    Chad still has his Roth IRA sitting mostly in cash! It bothers me more than it should.

    My one downfall is when something needs to be handled over the phone. If I can do it online, it gets done immediately. Once I need to call someone, I will put it off forever. I hate the phone even more than I hate losing money!

    • October 29, 2010 7:30 am

      What I hate is when I’m asked to Fax something. Seriously? Can’t we just use email attachments?

  4. October 29, 2010 6:57 am

    I did that last Christmas — threw away a $100 gift certificate from my boss. Ouch!

    I’ve been completely anal about the wedding cash/checks/gift cards because of that, so we haven’t lost any (yet…).

  5. October 29, 2010 8:08 am

    Don’t beat yourself up over it. It happens to all of us at some point.

  6. October 29, 2010 9:24 am

    Oh man, that stinks so bad! I’m sorry.

  7. October 29, 2010 5:31 pm

    I’ve lost cash in hand before, but not that much 😦

    I’ve definitely paid stupid tax…when I started online billing, my first bill went to spam and I missed the early payment discount.

    I still receive paper bills for some archaic companies who don’t do online payments yet. I tend to procrastinate until the last minute on those – and may have paid the price in the past…but now I try to pay them when I get them.

    Errr, and we got burgled last week. Enough said.

    I’m with Paranoid. I HATE HATE HATE the phone and so does T! Luckily he stepped up an volunteered to handle the cops and file the burglary report.

  8. October 30, 2010 11:23 am

    I’ve paid the occasional late fee in the past because in our disorganization I lost the bill. It’s much better now, those late bills are in the past, of course it’s so much easier to be organized with an empty nest.

  9. October 30, 2010 6:36 pm

    I shred a pedicure gift certificate with my junk mail a few weeks ago. It taught me to pay better attention to where I lay things! And I now keep my junk mail and all important documents separate in my laptop bag. 😉

  10. October 30, 2010 11:21 pm

    I’ve misplaced things like bills and then forget to pay for them so then I’m stuck with overdue bills. I’ve also lost money, usually when I have 20 dollar bills. And yes, I cry over 20 dollar bills. I’m very scatterbrained. I can’t help it nor fix it for some reason. :/

    • SP permalink*
      November 3, 2010 8:06 pm

      I’m glad that i’m not the only one who thinks scatterbrained-ness is really really hard to fix!

  11. November 2, 2010 9:48 pm

    I’m pretty sure I’ve bought extra headache meds, bandaids, etc. because I lose them. Also, once I bought tickets to a show but then found out I couldn’t go. I was going to sell my tickets to friends who wanted to go, but I couldn’t find the tickets anywhere. Needless to say, I found those tickets about 6 months later, a little too late to get my money.

    Between misplacing things and stepping on stuff left on my floor, I probably waste good money on things that need to be replaced. I also leave dirty clothes on the floor, which is all sorts of bad. Plus I lose track of what I own, which makes me feel like I need to buy more clothes.

    I’m a mess. :/

  12. November 3, 2010 6:29 pm

    I’ve only known my new roommate since August but she’s already lost TWO iPhones…so, now I don’t feel so bad about my lost tickets….

    • SP permalink*
      November 3, 2010 8:06 pm

      haha, sadly, this DOES make me feel a little better.


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