One Frugal Girl, one of my favorite bloggers, has a post today about focusing so hard on the minor that you miss the major:
Specifically, she's been selling books (for pennies on the dollar) while not scanning her billings -- and she missed some charges on her cellphone bill that should have been credited all along.
Boy, can I relate.
My Hollander parents taught me all too well how to obsess about saving 15 cents on hamburger here, and a dollar on bread there. I can still remember being excited in fifth grade -- because chicken was on sale, for 25 cents a pound!
Yet I often don't look at the charge card bills...or the cellphone bill...or the utility bill...because Dave's paying all the bills right now. Why should they affect me? I keep receipts for business -- that's all that matters, right?
Yeah, right. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
I realized this while finishing up the 2007 taxes. Several times, we paid late fees because Dave was busy and just didn't have enough time to finish up everything. He should have asked me to help out; but more importantly, I should have been paying attention and offered to help out. Shame on me. Dave got some of those charges credited, but we still paid more than $120 in fees for accounts we paid off in full. We could have used that money for some great meals out...a hotel for the night...anything but fees.
My latest adventure in idiocy has to do with tidying up, something neither of us enjoys, but has to be done. The Brick has this thing about keeping every box from every appliance, computer item and hardware gadget he's ever purchased. (I realized where this came from after we cleaned out his mom's estate....and threw away empty box after box after box.)
Usually I just throw these boxes out in the garage, or downstairs in the storage room, then edit them out during spring cleaning. Sure, the boxes tend to pile up -- but if that's Dave's worst quirk, it's easy to live with.
This spring, he's had three boxes hanging around the living room for weeks. In one of my cleaning frenzies, I got tired of tripping over the biggest one and threw it into the fire. (I kept the two smaller ones.) You guessed it. A day later, Dave said, 'Where's the Compaq box?' (We'd just gotten a new laptop.)
It turns out that I had burned up the one box Dave needed. For an ISBN. And a $150 rebate.
Yes, he should have told me. (Or pulled the ISBN right away.) But I should have checked.
Needless to say, I am going back to the store with cash register receipt and rebate form in hand, and see if there is ANY way to get another ISBN. But this little ditty now keeps pounding away in my head: Saving pennies, wasting dollars. Saving minutes, wasting hours.