A few days ago, I logged into my online banking to check my balance. I login every day to account for my transactions and categorize them so my budget reports aren’t such a bear to put together at the end of every month.
Most of the time there aren’t any surprises in my account. I have a pretty good idea of what’s going in and coming out on a day-to-day basis. But last week there was a transaction I didn’t recognize for $15.76.
While that’s not a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, I just couldn’t figure out what it was for and it was bugging me. Then I saw an email from EHarmony.
You see, back in January 2016 I decided I was ready to start dating again. Since there are very few prospects (AKA none) in my rural area of Kansas, I signed up for online dating. EHarmony was having a sale, so I pre-paid for several months to get the sale pricing. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice that my account was set up on an automatic subscription.
My subscription for EHarmony had automatically renewed at the full price of $15.76/month.
I emailed customer support right away to see if I could get a refund. They got back to me promptly, which is good. But, they said they don’t give refunds for automatic subscriptions. Apparently that was stated in the fine print when I signed up.
Since I couldn’t get a refund, I did the next best thing I could to avoid this happening again. I canceled my subscription then and there. I told them I didn’t want to wait for the month I had just paid for to be over. Instead, I wanted my account closed now.
The reason I decided to tell you about this money fail today is because I’ve realized that sometimes failing and making mistakes is ok. Here’s why.
Failing is Ok Because It Happens to Everyone
Sometimes I think bloggers, especially personal finance bloggers, get caught up in trying to inspire people to make good financial choices. Of course this is important, but sometimes the best thing we can do is be 100% real, even if that means sharing our failures and mistakes with our readers.
Even though we blog about money, and some of us, myself included, are even paid to write about money all day long, we are still human beings. As human beings, we are going to screw up sometimes. We are going to have an occasional money fail,
even especially if we think we know it all. We are going to fail and it’s ok. It’s ok because everyone fails sometimes.
Failing Can Spur You to Improve
As much as my fellow money bloggers and I try to inspire people by sharing our success stories, money facts, and more, on our blogs, sometimes the best motivator in life is failure.
Failure may actually be more inspiring than success. As long as you don’t give up and stop trying, you haven’t truly failed at all. You’ve just learned one more lesson along your journey.
I know it’s cliché, but don’t forget about what Thomas Edison said:
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Or this one:
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Failing Let’s You Learn From Your Mistakes
Along those same lines, failing at something gives you the opportunity to grow and learn from your mistakes. Just as the thought that the only true failure happens when you give up, it’s ok to make mistakes as long as you don’t repeat them.
In my case, I’d heard of people forgetting to cancel automatic subscriptions before, but it had never happened to me. In fact, there was a point in life where I scoffed and thought, “That’ll never happen to me, I’m too smart!”
But I’ve been knocked down a rung or two since then as I’ve learned that almost every single time that thought has crossed my mind it’s lead to me making the exact mistake I thought I was “too smart” to make, especially when it comes to making a money fail.
Forgetting to cancel my subscription was a small money fail that reminded me to slow down and pay better attention to my finances, a reminder I could stand to hear every once in a while for sure. It’s easy to forget to pay attention when you have your finances on auto-pilot as I have lately.
So my fellow bloggers and readers alike, let’s not beat ourselves up when we fail. Yes, WHEN we fail, because we all know it’s going to happen again at some point. But instead, let’s share our failures just as often, if not more, than our successes, because there’s plenty to be learned from both.
When’s the last time you had a money fail? What was it? Don’t tell me I’m alone here! 🙂