Author Topic: Dealing with a bad financial decision  (Read 6268 times)

rubor

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Dealing with a bad financial decision
« on: July 04, 2013, 07:32:14 AM »
So I just misread the dates on a contract, and it is going to end up costing me $400. Idiotic mistake on my part, and I am beating myself up about it. So this got me thinking, how do Mustachians deal with (hopefully infrequent) money mistakes? I think the options would be:

1. Try to get the money back (obviously the best, but not always feasible)
2a. Self-loathing followed by pushing yourself to even more thrifty decisions until you "make back" the lost money
2b. Alternatively, push yourself harder at work to earn back the lost money
3. Calm acceptance that your budget can handle infrequent lapses like this because you are not wasting money elsewhere

Thoughts? I am leaning towards number 2a right now.

lizzigee

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Re: Dealing with a bad financial decision
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2013, 01:54:04 PM »
I would have said everything but 2a!
If you have tried to get them money back to no avail and know that this mistake is a rare lapse, then get over it and get on with your life, maybe trying to be a bit extra frugal to make up for it. No sense in beating yourself up, what's done is done. And self loathing over the amount of $400? Life is too short and precious to even go there!

arebelspy

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Re: Dealing with a bad financial decision
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2013, 02:04:29 PM »
1 and then 3.

I advise skipping step 2 altogether.
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gooki

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Re: Dealing with a bad financial decision
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2013, 02:13:02 AM »
3.

And then

4. Vow to never deal with the thieving company again.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Dealing with a bad financial decision
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2013, 04:22:45 AM »
I would tend towards 2a/b myself (and I've made mistakes like that).

I would give 1 a try.

If you're polite and explain the situation, the worst they can say is no, and you're at the same spot. But there is a chance they'd work with you.
One of my personal mottoes is that it never hurts to ask.

MrsPete

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Re: Dealing with a bad financial decision
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2013, 07:22:20 AM »
I'd spend a short time in 2a, though self-loathing is too strong word.  Then I'd move into 3. 

Since it would've been my own fault in reading the dates wrong, I would not call the company thieves and would not avoid them in the future; however, I would make a plan to avoid similar mistakes in the future -- reading more carefully, writing dates on a calendar, setting my phone to remind me.

Gerard

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Re: Dealing with a bad financial decision
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2013, 07:29:31 AM »
I'm not sure what I normally do, but to respond to the original post: There may be a company policy or regulatory control that involves a cooling-off period for anything like that. So you may be able to get out entirely, if that's what you want. I know in parts of Canada you have (I think) 15 days to change your mind on any contract you sign with a door-to-door salesperson, and on many (most?) airline websites, you can cancel a plane ticket within 24 hours of purchase with no penalty (I wish I'd known about that last one 3 or 4 years ago, before booking a connection for the wrong day).

So I would try that, if it's still possible. If not, I would add a (5) to the list: Use the sting of this loss to drive you to learn more about how to get out of bad deals and mistakes in the future.

willn

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Re: Dealing with a bad financial decision
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2013, 07:48:19 AM »
Similar to your $ 400 lesson here, I typically have to learn things the hard way ;)  Fortunately your mistake only has two zeros left of the decimal!

This is a good reminder--when it comes to anything with a contract, I get very focused and intentional.  And it pays to get two sets of eyes to read through it.

PolarBeer

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Re: Dealing with a bad financial decision
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2013, 08:02:32 AM »
Yesterday I couldn't find my smartphone and became convinced that it was in the washing machine that had run for about an hour. I panicked for maybe two minutes, then just laughed about it and stopped worrying thinking it would make a good story. When it was done, it turned out it wasn't there and I found it where I had left it outside later. The whole experience made me more confident about my own attitude. No need to worry about things you can't do much about. I wouldn't have punished myself for honest mistakes.

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: Dealing with a bad financial decision
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2013, 08:08:44 AM »
1 then 3.

In fact, we screwed up 3 financial things last week alone (it was a bad week! LOL!). I called all the companies involved, and the result: full refunds on 2 mistakes and a 25% discount on the third. Pick up the phone and see what they can do to accommodate you.

Good luck!

velocistar237

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Re: Dealing with a bad financial decision
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2013, 11:23:11 AM »

A few years ago, we put an auction bid on a foreclosed house. A week after we won the bid, we realized that the downsides were too big. We tried to get the $1000 deposit back, but in the end, we lost it. The last time I felt bad about it was yesterday.

Fight it as best you can.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Dealing with a bad financial decision
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2013, 01:00:50 PM »
What would you say to a very good friend, whom you knew to be a person of integrity?  Whatever you'd say, give the same gift to yourself. 

Why is it always easier to be compassionate to others than it is to extend the same kindness to ourselves?  [rhetorical]

uspsfanalan

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Re: Dealing with a bad financial decision
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2013, 02:49:00 PM »
What would you say to a very good friend, whom you knew to be a person of integrity?  Whatever you'd say, give the same gift to yourself. 

Why is it always easier to be compassionate to others than it is to extend the same kindness to ourselves?  [rhetorical]

Excellent point - beating yourself up won't help, it might even make you more likely to give up and splurge on something you normally wouldn't.

fiskeb

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Re: Dealing with a bad financial decision
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2013, 04:57:12 PM »
I have had things like that happen where I forgot to cancel something that auto-renews or whatever.  I've done well getting it back by taking ownership and humbly asking... but always needed to look at why it happened.  For me it was either from being disorganized or by complicating my life with something I didn't need in the first place.. like cable...

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Dealing with a bad financial decision
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2013, 06:44:56 PM »
Similar thing happened to me. Bought a car in January, it was supposed to have a year of registration left (this is what I was told by the sales guy). I think the date on the paperwork was something like 12-03-2012. After about a month or so, I realized my mistake; day/month are reversed in Australia, so it expired in March (about two months after buying).

I was a bit upset for a while, both for being lied to, and for not catching it. But, it is what it is. Nothing I could do about it (written contract trumps verbal, and the contract was 100% correct as far as dates). Just be thankful it wasn't an even costlier mistake, and try to not repeat it in the future.

Theadyn

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Re: Dealing with a bad financial decision
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2013, 06:58:19 PM »
It happens, don't beat yourself up over it.   I do that sometimes.  What I do is keep a buffer (for me, $500) extra in the checking as an in case.  $500 in my checking for me means I'm broke, to my head anyways.  But if they autodraft something earlier or I misread something, this will catch most little mistakes.  My 'zero based budget' starts at the $500 for me, just makes me not worry as much.  :)

ender

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Re: Dealing with a bad financial decision
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2013, 07:39:30 PM »
What would you say to a very good friend, whom you knew to be a person of integrity?  Whatever you'd say, give the same gift to yourself. 

Why is it always easier to be compassionate to others than it is to extend the same kindness to ourselves?  [rhetorical]

Wow, thanks for this, for some reason this really rung true with me this evening for a variety of things similar to what velocistar237 posted... :)

cats

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Re: Dealing with a bad financial decision
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2013, 08:09:30 PM »
Definitely 1, followed by 3.  I have gotten pretty ballsy about calling up and asking if "terms" that are costing me $$ are negotiable, and in my experience you'll usually walk away with *something*, even if it's not a full refund.  For example, for a recent move, we needed a U-haul.  I reserved the truck for 2 days, and agreed to the quote they gave me at the place.  When I returned the truck, the bill came out quite a bit higher than I was expecting...turns out their "quote" was based on a single day of use, despite my repeatedly saying "I want the truck for 2 days", confirming a return date of 2 days, etc. etc. etc.  Yes, the fine print on the contract said the quote was per day, but...it was early in the morning and I was in a rush and...I missed that bit.  The store was useless, but I called up U-haul to complain (I was also pissed because they now put this box of blankets into the truck, which makes the space much less useable...and they will charge you extra if you use the blankets!), and I wound up getting a partial refund of the 2nd day charges, which helped to lessen the sting of idiocy somewhat.

chatsc

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Re: Dealing with a bad financial decision
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2013, 10:54:44 AM »
I try to learn from it.  sounds cheezy, but I only really learn life lessons through experience.  we lost 1000$ on a deposit for something.  It seemed like a good idea at the time, but then after really thinking about it, we realized that it was just throwing good money after bad.  We tried to get the money back but no dice.  what are you going to do?  I learned my lesson and I wont try to throw money at a problem again.  if something isnt working, then buying more of that something wont help.

400$ isnt the end of the world.  def not worth beating yourself up about. learn from it and move on.  I bet you wont skim through another contract again in your life!