Are You Leaking Money the Way I Am?

by francine Hardaway on June 28, 2008

If you don’t regularly look over your credit card and online bank statements, you probably are. And it’s incredible how much it was, in my case.This week I decided it was time to get the Macbook Air and a new display, and all the stuff that goes with it (drives, cables). The quote came to about $5000, and the payment on a 2-year $1 buyout was $259/mo. I always lease equipment because I know I will want to get rid of it after two years, and I have been taught never to buy depreciating assets. (That’s why I don’t own a house in Phoenix right now).

But because we’re in a recession/depression/crash or whatever, I have the mentality that I can’t spend any more money. This meant I would have to find $259/mo. somewhere to cut out of my budget.

If you know me, you know this is a sick joke. I don’t budget. I don’t balance my checkbook (I don’t even HAVE a checkbook) and I usually assume, as one of my mentors once told me, that if I want more “stuff” I just have to make more money.

But I think it isn’t going to work this time, so I began looking for places to cut. I go first to my Visa bill, on which Environment California posts a $10.00 recurrent contribution every month. ON the same bill is Privacy Assist, to which I pay $9.99 a month to be protected from something I don’t even remember. And then there’s $11.96 from SixApart, which is still billing me for a free trial that I canceled before its end.

So there’s about $32.00 right there. Then I went to my Amex bill, on which I found Rhapsody, a service I never use, for $12.99 a month. You can’t even cancel it because it’s Real Networks and they only let you cancel by phone during certain hours. But I’m on it.
And then what is AT&T Worldnet Service? That’s $16.95 per month. I can’t even find out what this is or how to cancel it.

You get the picture. There are about a dozen of these things that I either have cancelled or need to cancel. But that’s before I get to the big news: my online banking. It seems I sold a car eight months ago. The payments were being taken directly from my bank account by the dealer’s finance company. When I sold the car, they never stopped debiting the payments: $703.90 a month. Times 8. Over $5600!! It turns out I had inadvertantly saved up for my new MacBook Air over the past eight months.

So we are really not in a nationwide recession; I was in a personal recession. Of my own making.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Sheila Bocchine June 28, 2008 at 6:59 pm

oh gosh! at least you found out you saved enough money!

I have rhapsody too and I never use it… but lucky for me, my debit card expired and they shut me off! yay!

francine hardaway June 28, 2008 at 7:54 pm

I’m seriously thinking of changing all my credit card numbers and declaring recurring charges bankruptcy:-)

openallnight June 29, 2008 at 6:01 am

Does sound familiar, and scary. I no longer have ANY auto debits to my accounts. It took a while but was really worth it!

AT&T Worldnet Service sounds like the fee for an old dial-up account?

Best wishes for success in finding all the MAC loot.

Charles G June 30, 2008 at 12:36 am

Wow, I’m about to go over my stuff with a fine tooth comb. You should check out its a really interesting beta site that helps you track your expenses.

Francine hardaway June 30, 2008 at 6:02 am

Yes, I now use But you have to look at that, too! If you don’t look, you don’t see this stuff. It’s an attention thing :-)

Think Twice July 8, 2008 at 9:40 am

You and me are like peas in a pod. reading this was like looking into the mirror. Thanks.
Fractional attention deficit.
“Hey! There’s something shiny!…..” and so it goes

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