I remember a time very clearly when I was cleaning out an old binder and stumbled upon a hidden stash of money. Or those times when you are cleaning out the pockets of your laundry and find a wadded up $20. Finding extra money is always a blessing.
Many times, I can quickly recall when I put that money there. But every time, I do a little jump for joy at finding some “extra.”
As you know, money has been very tight around here. I am pinching pennies left and right. Borrowing from peter to pay paul. And sometimes taking things a bit too far.
What I haven’t told you is that our water was cut off last month. Now don’t jump down my throat, read the details first.
First, it was off for less than 5 hours. But it shouldn’t have happened.
I schedule all my payments through my bank account. I have learned the hard way, now to schedule a payment until I have the money in the bank. (Clients do not always pay when they say they will, so I no longer count the money until I have it in hand. Although I use forecasting to know what I expect to come in and when.)
This particular bill is due on the 10th of each month. I was not able to schedule the payment until the 21st (and then it takes a week to arrive.) So the check was literally in the mail.
On the 25th, we woke up to no water. I was 15 days late, and had not ever been late before. They had cut my water off!
I was able to call them and make a payment over the phone and they turned the water back on within a couple of hours. But wow, that taught me a lesson about being late with the utilities here!
Fast Forward to This Month
The payment for the water bill is still due by the 10th of every month. I scheduled it to arrive on the 6th.
Since then, I have been watching to make sure the check was cashed, and I was not at risk for having my water turned off again. And I waited and I waited.
Today, I started to get nervous as we approach the 10 day past due period. Before I called the utility company to confirm they received it, I decided to check the bank one more time.
And there is was, cashed on the 6th. I don’t know how I missed it!
But I am not at risk for getting our water cut off again, and I have an extra $108 to spend. (I track my day to day availability on an Excel spreadsheet which I also use to forecast. This lets me know what’s coming up and how what I do today will affect the future months out.)
It’s not quite the same as finding a stash of cash in a binder or hidden in the pockets of your jeans, but I’ll take it. Every little bit counts!
The old Hope would have blown this money. The new Hope is laser focused on what bill I can pay or debt payment I can make with it!
Have you every had a tiny and unexpected windfall? How did it make you feel? And what did you do with it?