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Money Down The Drain


First, thanks for the responses, comments, and helpful feedback on my last post.

Edited update: I did type up a full proposal and email but, after thinking better of it, I never sent it. Instead, I sent an email asking for a brief meeting sometime in the next couple weeks and already received a reply that we’ll meet on the 20th. Further out than I’d like, but better than nothing. Then we can discuss the changes in roles/responsibilities and the mis-alignment between contract and current duties in person. One commenter suggested asking for the changes to be implemented in the next financial cycle (like future planning) instead of insisting on immediate change. I think that it makes sense for me to be flexible and open to that, if thats what’s necessary. Ultimately, though, all this will be discussed in person. Not via email. I’ll keep you updated. I sincerely thank you for your suggestions!


Today I just wanted to tell you a little story of how being more aware can save you money (or, rather, how failing to be aware COST me money).


One of my friends is due with a second child in October. She had a baby shower over Labor Day that I had to miss since I was in Austin. I still wanted to get her a gift so I decided to shop Target.com since 1) she is registered there, and 2) I have a Target card so I get free shipping and 5% off all purchases.


So I log in and pick out a couple things for her baby (a book for big brother and a 3-pack of onesies for the new baby). I thought it was a nice touch to throw in the “big brother” book. I try to stay around $15-25 for most gift-giving occasions (weddings, baby showers, birthdays, etc.) and the total cost of the gift was right at $25, so I was in that range.


I have another friend who is organizing a big Lego drive for kids with cancer being treated at our local children’s hospital. One of her friends (an acquaintance of mine) has a son who has been battling cancer for 3 years (after 3 relapses at only 4 years old). I generally don’t do “Go Fund Me” or similar such things, but I felt moved to donate to this Lego drive for kids fighting cancer. So I added two $12 Lego sets to my Target.com order. My idea was to let my girls help wrap them up and go to drop them off at the Lego drive (they’d each have one to give).

With the legos added to my cart, my total was now right around $50. The Legos, alone, were about half of the total amount.

After placing my order I received the standard email from Target (I order from Target.com for most of my gift-giving occasions, so I have an account with them, etc.). The order looked correct, I saw the dates things would ship, and all was good.

Then a few days later…

I get a text from my friend with a ‘thank you’ and a picture of her son playing with one of the Lego sets I bought!!!


It turns out that since I ordered off her registry, it automatically shipped my order to her house. I didn’t even notice!!! Because I have an account with target.com I never have to enter my shipping information (it’s all saved), so I didn’t even realize that the gift wasn’t coming to me as I’d intended!

I immediately texted that I was so embarrassed it had gone straight to her – I thought it would come to me so I’d have an opportunity to wrap it, etc. She lol-ed and that was basically it. But because her initial photo was of her son playing with the open Legos package, I didn’t feel like I could ask for the other one back to give to the kids with cancer. And she didn’t inquire about why I sent 2 identical Lego packages (clearly not intended for a newborn baby). Left it at that.

Lesson learned.

Failing to pay more attention to what was going on caused me to spend an extra $25 (basically doubling the price of my “gift”) AND means that my donation didn’t happen. Not sure what to do about that one, as I feel guilty not donating to the cancer kids, but I also didn’t have planned to donate an additional $25 worth of stuff. Thoughts on that one?

Have you ever experienced a similar shipping snafu? If it were you, would you have asked for the other Lego package back, or just chalk it up as a lesson learned?


  • Reply Victoria |

    If you didn’t say anything at the time, it’s too late to now. Return the big brother book since he has the Lego. You could then buy one Lego set for cancer kids if you wanted.

  • Reply Walnut |

    Thank goodness it was legos in the cart and not something random or embarrassing! Just think if you were buying some extra packages of Monitstat or chose that opportunity to stock up on pinto beans.

  • Reply sheila |

    I would send a text and say something like I just realized that the second set of Legos was shipped to you as well, explain that you planned to donate to the cancer kid drive and ask if you could pick it up or if she would donate.
    This way you are totally not asking for anything back but still have a small donation.

  • Reply cad |

    I would email Target and tell them the difficult using their website- you are definitely not the first person! they should have an option like on Amazon that allows you to pick where things are sent

    • Reply Ashley |

      Yeah, ultimately I take responsibility for not noticing, but I definitely think it was a bit of trickery on the part of Target, too. It definitely wasn’t super obvious or anything and, given that I use their site and had my info stored, etc., I completely missed the fact that it wasn’t shipping to me!

  • Reply Louise |

    It wasn’t exactly money down the drain – you were accidentally super generous with your gifting. That $ spent contributed to goodwill with your friend and made that kid very happy – my own child is just devoted to his Lego. An annoying mistake but at least someone got something out of it! And yes, Target need some highly visible way to show you where the stuff is shopping during use of a registry.

  • Reply heather |

    The truth is if this is a friend who gives you gifts as well then she more than likely has spent double the amount of gifts for your twins in the past. I think it’s better to just let it go and consider that you made a little boy- esp one who might be having a hard time with a new sibling- very happy. I personally would buy another lego set for the toy drive. 12 dollars is not much to pay and I think it’s a good lesson for your girls about giving to kids in need if you do bring them to drop it off. Donations are tax deductible and honestly just plain good for the soul. 🙂

So, what do you think ?