Watch Your Money - Personal Finance BasicsI had a misadventure with my cash. My automobile insurance company called a a couple months ago to let me know that they had a deal for me. I could change from my old company to a different one and I would save $30 a month. I made the switch with little hesitation. Those are the personal finance basics I can deal with. I signed the paperwork and went on my way. Having a clean driving record does pay for itself. Traditionally I would suggest that you take care of these sorts of contracts well before they call you, because at the end of the day, most insurance companies will try and avoid giving you a deal if they can.
I was happy. I was using relatively dormant savings account from which the old insurance was being taken out of and decided to use a new account for my new insurance company. That was my first mistake. I didn't look at my old bank account. I more or less forgot it existed. The simple plan was to assume that all was well and planned to let the small amount of money in there collect a couple pennies worth of interest each month.
Jump ahead 6 months. The bank calls to let me know something is wrong. One of my accounts is in a negative balance by almost $500. How can this happen? I always watch everything I buy and budget my finances accordingly. After looking at the statement from the old account the problem was obvious. My old insurance policy had not been cancelled by my broker. They had continued to withdraw money from the old dormant bank account for six months to the tune of close to $900.
Monitoring your money is one of the personal finance basics we all need to take care of. It's easy to make such an error and that is the type of error that is completely avoidable. I was both angered and slightly embarrassed by what had happened. 'How could I let this happen?' I asked myself on the drive to my insurance broker. I've always known how to manage my money since I had my paper route when I was a young teen. Since that time I had never had a negative balance, until now.
I'm happy to say that my insurance broker was apologetic and corrected the situation ASAP. Things might have been worse. Much worse. For that amount of time someone with cruel intentions could have taken out thousands of dollars without my knowledge and I could have been forced to pay it all back. My advise to watch your money is easily the simplest of the personal finance basics to follow. If you have a dormant account close it. If you have a credit card you never use, cancel it. Your hard earned money can be fleeting if you aren't careful.
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Until next time,
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by: Brandon Schmid