I like goldfish – they are beautiful, they are fun to watch and they always make me smile when I see them. And apparently, goldfish and I have a lot more in common than I was aware of – see, I have always heard that goldfish have like five second memories. Five seconds. I’m starting to think I also have a five second memory. Let me explain…
For probably about the past week and a half, I have mentioned to virtually anyone who would listen that I seemed to have a lot of extra money in my checking account and I couldn’t understand why – I had checked my register and everything “balanced” according to my records, yet I had an extra $574.30 in my account that seemed to have just magically appeared there. (I was perplexed but secretly hoped it was some sort of addition/subtraction error in my favor. Yeah, right…) Anyway, yesterday I printed a copy of my online banking statement, going all the way back to 01 June 2013. I had resolved to find the error and lay honest claim to that extra money. I mean, who doesn’t want/need an extra $500+ dollars?
So, armed with a calculator, six and a half pages of transaction records, a pen, some correcting tape (so I could “Wite-Out” any errors) and a fresh Caffeine-Free Diet Coke, I began double-checking each and every transaction. The way my bank posts transactions, combined with my slightly lazy record keeping habits, forced me to be about four pages into the reconciliation (early July, LOL!) before I realized that four bills I had paid online about two weeks ago didn’t seem to appear anywhere on the statement. Hmmmm. Equally impressive – or distressing – was the fact that those four payments totaled the exact amount my bank said I had “extra” in my account. Uh-oh. But I KNEW I had paid those bills online – I knew I had.
Turns out I hadn’t. UGH! My online bill pay service has what I call the “Are You Sure?” screen at the end of every bill pay transaction. You enter the amount you want to pay to which utility or whatever – In this case, FOUR credit card companies – then before the transactions are finalized, one more screen pops open and asks you to double check that you want to send these amounts to these accounts. It became evident, after a call to my “Anytime Banker,” that I had neglected to complete this step. A missed “Enter” keystroke made me $574.30 richer… Sorta’.
Me and goldfish – five second memories…
You know, I have no one to be angry with but myself – I was careless and failed to do what I was supposed to do. And fortunately, the credit card companies were pretty understanding – only two payments were technically late, and both companies removed the late payment charges (thanks AmEx, thanks Capitol One!) In the end, it was all good and everything “worked out.” But, I am still sad…
Am I developing early onset of Alzheimer’s and/or some other senior senility?
Do I really have – as I so often joke about – some degree of attention deficit disorder?
Can I not remember that old warning: “If it seems to good to be true, it probably is…” I mean, who wouldn’t hope to find an extra $574.30 in their checking account?
Goldfish, that’s who – by the time they got their little fins together to open that checkbook, they would have totally forgotten why they were even looking there. Plus, they could never remember their previous balance anyway. Five seconds, right?