Author Topic: Ever screwed yourself by trying to over-Moustache?  (Read 2147 times)

frugalfoothills

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Ever screwed yourself by trying to over-Moustache?
« on: September 06, 2018, 08:23:08 AM »
I'm irritated with myself for a mistake I made this week. I have 2 checking accounts: one with TD Bank where my direct deposits go, and another with Capital One (1% rate) that I use as my Emergency Fund. It has worked well for me so far -- I pay my bills out of the TD account, transfer excess money to the Capital One account, and only use the CapOne money in the case of an emergency or large expense. I leave about $1K in the TD account at all times as a buffer from overdrafts.

Well, I had my house painted this week and needed to cut a check for $1,700. Don't have a checkbook for the Cap One account, only a debit card. Figured I'd just transfer the money to the TD account and cut the check out of there. Got the final painter's bill on Tuesday, initiated the transfer, and wrote the check yesterday. Painter cashed it last night (must've needed that cash!!), but apparently the funds hadn't completed transferring, so it overdrafted the TD account. Naturally (because doesn't life always work this way?) two (expected) monthly auto-drafts hit my TD account right after that, so I'm expecting THREE overdraft fees in all. I talked with TD this morning and explained that it's just a timing issue and it sounds like they will waive the fees, but I'm still irritated.

So, has anyone else made the mistake of over managing their accounts to their own detriment? This system has worked for me for over a year now and was essential in helping me pay off credit card debt and build that emergency fund up, since it sequesters the money in their respective accounts and psychologically each account has a designated "job", but I feel like a dope because now it backfired on me. I have to deal with the annoyance of trying to get these fees waived. Even if they didn't waive them (I think they will) I'd only be out $105, so not exactly a financial disaster, but stupid.

I'm wondering -- got any similar stories?

catccc

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Re: Ever screwed yourself by trying to over-Moustache?
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2018, 09:18:12 AM »
Not really like that, but on my prepaid phone plan, sometimes I try to be frugal and buy fewer texts/MB/minutes... then if I end up needing more, I buy more... But prices are, say $3 for 100 MB, $5 for 300 MB.  So there were some months when I paid $6 for 200 MB.  That's a petty example compared to what you put out there.

Do you budget?  I use YNAB and I like that it doesn't matter where the $ is... It's not like one bank account seems like free to spend and another is off limits.  I used to do a lot cash flow projections, and transferring between checking and savings, and I don't so much anymore.  Everything is very autopilot.  I just look at my budget and spend according to what the $ is for, not where it is at.  I was talking to a friend, we both had signed up for a bank bonus.  She said she wouldn't do it again because even though the bonus was good, the money that she had in the account seemed like "free money" since it wasn't in her regular checking account and she spent it too freely.  That would never happen with my approach.  Just something to consider!

Hopefully the bank waives the fees and this is an annoying lesson, but not a costly one.

frugalfoothills

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Re: Ever screwed yourself by trying to over-Moustache?
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2018, 09:35:06 AM »
Not really like that, but on my prepaid phone plan, sometimes I try to be frugal and buy fewer texts/MB/minutes... then if I end up needing more, I buy more... But prices are, say $3 for 100 MB, $5 for 300 MB.  So there were some months when I paid $6 for 200 MB.  That's a petty example compared to what you put out there.

Do you budget?  I use YNAB and I like that it doesn't matter where the $ is... It's not like one bank account seems like free to spend and another is off limits.  I used to do a lot cash flow projections, and transferring between checking and savings, and I don't so much anymore.  Everything is very autopilot.  I just look at my budget and spend according to what the $ is for, not where it is at.  I was talking to a friend, we both had signed up for a bank bonus.  She said she wouldn't do it again because even though the bonus was good, the money that she had in the account seemed like "free money" since it wasn't in her regular checking account and she spent it too freely.  That would never happen with my approach.  Just something to consider!

Hopefully the bank waives the fees and this is an annoying lesson, but not a costly one.

Yeah, I budget. Probably obsessively... which is how I ended up in this position. I like having designated accounts because it prevents me from spending money I don't need to spend... something about the boundaries between them make it easier for me mentally to make sure my money is doing the job it was budgeted for and NOT another job. Different strokes and all that.

But I might have gone overboard with the boundaries and moving money around here... lol

CNM

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Re: Ever screwed yourself by trying to over-Moustache?
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2018, 09:41:51 AM »
Not quite like that, but I OFTEN screw myself over by under-buying.  A classic example is I will buy 1 box of tissues, even though I have a cold, and run out at the exact time I need a tissue the most.  Why didn't I just spring for a bunch of boxes? They don't go bad and I will eventually use them anyway.  UGH

RWD

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Re: Ever screwed yourself by trying to over-Moustache?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2018, 09:52:22 AM »
Not quite like that, but I OFTEN screw myself over by under-buying.  A classic example is I will buy 1 box of tissues, even though I have a cold, and run out at the exact time I need a tissue the most.  Why didn't I just spring for a bunch of boxes? They don't go bad and I will eventually use them anyway.  UGH
That's not being frugal, that's being cheap. For non-perishable consumables (paper towels, hand soap, etc.) I try to buy on sale/in bulk when possible and then always keep a buffer. The buffer reduces the risk of running out at an inopportune moment and gives some wiggle room to wait for stuff to go on sale as our supply dwindles. But on the other hand we go through stuff like that so slowly that it hardly even matters if we buy it on sale (maybe $10-20/year or so?).

CNM

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Re: Ever screwed yourself by trying to over-Moustache?
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2018, 09:58:00 AM »
Not quite like that, but I OFTEN screw myself over by under-buying.  A classic example is I will buy 1 box of tissues, even though I have a cold, and run out at the exact time I need a tissue the most.  Why didn't I just spring for a bunch of boxes? They don't go bad and I will eventually use them anyway.  UGH
That's not being frugal, that's being cheap. For non-perishable consumables (paper towels, hand soap, etc.) I try to buy on sale/in bulk when possible and then always keep a buffer. The buffer reduces the risk of running out at an inopportune moment and gives some wiggle room to wait for stuff to go on sale as our supply dwindles. But on the other hand we go through stuff like that so slowly that it hardly even matters if we buy it on sale (maybe $10-20/year or so?).

Yes, I know it's being cheap, but old habits die hard!

magnet18

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Re: Ever screwed yourself by trying to over-Moustache?
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2018, 10:23:08 AM »
Something very similar just happened to me, I have a dedicated account for bills and withdrawals, and every paycheck I put 50% of what I need for the month in it. 

Never had a problem in 2 years doing that, but my pay cycle isn't synchronized to month beginning/end, so last week it overdrew my some small amount, and of course, instead of pulling from my emergency account, it pulled from some other account I don't use, and bam, I got hit with $30 in fees


Ticked at myself, keeping a larger buffer in there now

PoutineLover

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Re: Ever screwed yourself by trying to over-Moustache?
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2018, 10:38:31 AM »
I've always been able to get the bank to waive fees like that. Once I accidentally sent a transfer out instead of in and that caused something to bounce, and another time someone cashed a check I had forgotten about like 6 months later. I had the money, just not in that account. Both times I explained what happened and they saw that it was an accident and refunded the fees, as long as you don't do it all the time they are pretty reasonable.
I have also over mustached myself. One silly time was when I was trying to save money on shoes I needed to buy so I got them used, but they ended up being too small and I had to buy the new ones anyway, so that was a waste. Another time I bought plane tickets out of another city because it was cheaper, but then I slept in and had to take a taxi cause I was about to miss my bus, then I did miss the bus and had to taxi to the next stop because all the other buses were sold out, and then the flight arrived so late I had to taxi to the place I was staying at.. in the end I think I spent more on taxis than I saved by getting the cheaper flight, not to mention the stress and the time wasted. Never again.

partgypsy

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Re: Ever screwed yourself by trying to over-Moustache?
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2018, 10:40:03 AM »
I can't remember what it was called, but there was a blog of this guy, who really wanted to be frugal, had a family. And was constantly being cheap to the point of doing ridiculous things. Like timing everyone's showers, or telling people they had to take cold showers. Not fixing his car, so it would break down on the side of the highway or require even more expensive repairs. However while he was micromanaging his own family, periodically he would have spendthrift members of his own family ask him for money and then he would give it to them! It was a total trainwreck but addictive to read. And then at some point the whole thing shut down, and not even archived anywhere. I always wondered if it was real or some college student with way too much time on his hand.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2018, 02:29:17 PM by partgypsy »

frugalfoothills

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Re: Ever screwed yourself by trying to over-Moustache?
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2018, 11:30:59 AM »
I can't remember what it was called, but there was a blog of this guy, who really wanted to be frugal, had a family. And was constantly being cheap to the point of doing ridiculous things. Like timing everyone's showers, or telling people they had to take showers. Not fixing his car, so it would break down on the side of the highway or require even more expensive repairs. However while he was micromanaging his own family, periodically he would have spendthrift members of his own family ask him for money and then he would give it to them! It was a total trainwreck but addictive to read. And then at some point the whole thing shut down, and not even archived anywhere. I always wondered if it was real or some college student with way too much time on his hand.

Man, bummer it shut down... that sounds like an entertaining read.

I don't know why I didn't initiate the transfer last week so I'd have plenty of time. It's not like I didn't have the money... it was just sitting there, ready to be transferred over. I knew it would be at least $1,600 but would likely be a few hundred bucks more than that so I ended up waiting to get the final quote... I guess I was worried I'd transfer too much? As if it couldn't just be pushed back over in that case! Stupid stupid stupid.

fatcow240

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Re: Ever screwed yourself by trying to over-Moustache?
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2018, 11:51:54 AM »
This has happened to us with transfer fees between saving and checkings account.  There was a maximum of 3 transfers from savings to checking per month.  I had to add more buffer to the checking account.  We also started using Simple and it hasn't happened in a while.

I try very hard not to use checks.

Dr.Jeckyl

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Re: Ever screwed yourself by trying to over-Moustache?
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2018, 11:58:20 AM »

For non-perishable consumables (paper towels, hand soap, etc.) I try to buy on sale/in bulk when possible and then always keep a buffer.
[/quote]

Full believer in the buffer for all non-perishables. I never run out of tissues, toilet paper, soap, cleaning supplies, etc...If I see something on sale and I know I'm not to my max buffer I go ahead and buy more. I do the same for Girl Scout cookies, YUM!

RWD

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Re: Ever screwed yourself by trying to over-Moustache?
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2018, 12:07:14 PM »
For non-perishable consumables (paper towels, hand soap, etc.) I try to buy on sale/in bulk when possible and then always keep a buffer.

Full believer in the buffer for all non-perishables. I never run out of tissues, toilet paper, soap, cleaning supplies, etc...If I see something on sale and I know I'm not to my max buffer I go ahead and buy more. I do the same for Girl Scout cookies, YUM!

*fixed quoting*

Yep, it works out nicely. I have a sort of procedure I follow. For example, with hand soap, whenever I refill our soap dispensers I'll check the buffer. Do I have at least one unopened container? If so there's nothing to do. If I'm down to the last container I add it to my shopping list with a (?) mark next to it to indicate "only if on sale". Each week when we go shopping I'll check if it's gone on sale and stock up if it is (buying maybe 2-4 containers, depending on the deal). If we're about to run out and it still hasn't gone on sale I'll just buy one at the normal price and rinse/repeat the cycle.

frugalfoothills

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Re: Ever screwed yourself by trying to over-Moustache?
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2018, 11:57:03 AM »
Talked to TD and they're going to refund the $35.00 overdraft fee for the initial check cashing, but they're refusing to refund the subsequent 2 fees that were incurred from the autodrafts that hit in quick succession. I am less than pleased with this. If you're going to refund one because you understand it's a timing issue, why wouldn't you refund all 3?

What a stupid waste of 70 bucks.

NathanP

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Re: Ever screwed yourself by trying to over-Moustache?
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2018, 12:11:01 PM »
Talked to TD and they're going to refund the $35.00 overdraft fee for the initial check cashing, but they're refusing to refund the subsequent 2 fees that were incurred from the autodrafts that hit in quick succession. I am less than pleased with this. If you're going to refund one because you understand it's a timing issue, why wouldn't you refund all 3?

What a stupid waste of 70 bucks.

Sounds like it is time to switch banks (I am not saying they are wrong to charge you fees, but why stay?). I have gone online only using Ally since they have competitive interest rates and reimburse fees to use other bank's ATMs. Since my savings account is there too they simply pull money from there if I overdraft. I checked, and they charge $25 per day (not transaction) if you truly did overdraft.

Dabnasty

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Re: Ever screwed yourself by trying to over-Moustache?
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2018, 12:18:54 PM »
Talked to TD and they're going to refund the $35.00 overdraft fee for the initial check cashing, but they're refusing to refund the subsequent 2 fees that were incurred from the autodrafts that hit in quick succession. I am less than pleased with this. If you're going to refund one because you understand it's a timing issue, why wouldn't you refund all 3?

What a stupid waste of 70 bucks.

I feel your pain. What really gets to me about these fees is that I imagine for some people it's just a little annoyance, "shoot, there goes another $35". But for people like us it's more like "What! $35 because I forgot to click a few buttons! Do you know how much oatmeal I could buy with $35?!"

That $35 fee for a missed doctor's appointment still haunts me to this day.

Goldielocks

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Re: Ever screwed yourself by trying to over-Moustache?
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2018, 01:00:13 PM »
Yes! I understand the pain.  The two ways around this:

1) Old School 1980's / 1990's-- you take cash out of Citibank and then drive to TD and put that cash in.  It will register the same day if you use a bank clerk.   (That was how we used to do it).
1b)  Okay how we really used to do it because we aren't insane....  was to give the painter two cheques, one for $700 that would cash right away, and one for $1000 dated later, or post date it all if they would accept that instead.

2)  Because 1) is so crazy, the better way is to have your savings account at the same branch as your chequing account, and then the transfers are either keyed up by them to be immediate access to cash (most banks, up to a limit), or overnight.

2b) Variation --  You could also have a PLOC / HELOC at the same branch as TD, and do the same thing, but "borrow" the $1700, transfer it via instant/ overnight transfer and then repay it from the citibank transfer that arrives a few days later or when you are ready for it.   The cost is the cost to transfer funds in your electronic account (usually zero with most bank plans), and the cost of interest for those 5 days of "borrowed" cash from the PLOC / HELOC.

BONUS -- I only have cheques for the HELOC, now, as they give me free ones for that account, but charge me $40 for a book a cheques on the chequing account.  So for those one-off big purchases, I just write a cheque directly from the HELOC and transfer the cash later.

Lastly -- Most of us recall the horrible over limit / bounced fees charges from the credit cards back in 2005-2008.  They were aggressive and predatory and designed to make money for the credit cards.... especially before autopayment became a thing.  $70 seems tiny compared to what used to happen.

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Ever screwed yourself by trying to over-Moustache?
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2018, 03:25:46 PM »
Since my savings account is there too they simply pull money from there if I overdraft.

Careful with that.  I know someone who had their debit card number stolen and they used it to deplete both their savings and checking accounts, since once the checking was gone, it auto-switched over to savings and they could keep going.  They got the money back, eventually, but that was all their liquid cash gone in one go.  And also stressful.  Much safer to just keep a $x buffer in checking, imo.