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My Most Expensive Financial Lesson

February 25, 2015

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I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve had the chance to host a lovely guest blogger. Today’s guest post is brought to you by my new blogger friend, Kat. Kat just started her own blog a few months ago over at Hello Pre Nurse.

I recently wrote a post on my blog about the importance of having an emergency fund. Today I’ll be writing about another financial lesson I learned earlier this year, and that is being aware of all aspects in your life. If I had been taking a more hands-on approach when it comes on to my finances, my car insurance payments would not have doubled earlier this year!

Let me backtrack and set the stage here. I recently went through a divorce. While married, my ex-husband and I had a joint account that we paid all the household bills out of. After the divorce, I kept the account since there were no fees. I used it to pay my car insurance every 6 months. But during the divorce process, I closed the email account that was associated with the insurance company. That is the email where I would get my reminders about up-coming payments for my insurance. Are you getting the picture here?

Fast forward to November 2014

I was sitting in my car at a red light waiting for it to turn green so I can turn into my parking deck for school. I noticed a police cruiser pull up behind me. But I wasn’t worried, as I don’t keep any dead bodies in my trunk!

I pulled into my parking deck, and the cruiser pulled into the parking deck too. I proceed to drive to the second floor to park, and the cruiser pulled up behind me and blocked me in. Now, I am in full panic mode!

The police officer came up to my window and said “Hi, you are driving without insurance, and that is against the law in Georgia.”

I looked at him like he’s crazy since I know I have insurance. He asked for my license, registration, and insurance information. He disappeared for about 30 minutes and then he came back with a ticket. He said “I called your insurance company. They said they have been trying to get in touch with you, but they haven’t been able to. Anyway, here is your citation for court, have a good day!”

Then he got in his car and drove away as I sat in my car with a dumb founded look on my face. Then it hit me, I am going to make my first court appearance and I just missed my 8 a.m. English class!

I called my insurance company and they told me that they’ve sent tons of emails, which have just been bouncing back. I suddenly realized that this was the email account I had closed a few months ago. I was very upset and didn’t want to take responsibility for this mistake. I asked why no one called me to say that my payments were behind. However at the end of the day, it was my responsibility to notify my banks and other agents that I had switched accounts.

Now for the bad part…paying for my financial lesson.

I went to my insurance office to renew my policy, and because it had lapsed for over three months, it went from $62 per month to a whopping $130 per month! I left the office near tears.

Then on my birthday, I went to pay for my registration and the lady told me it was $110. I told her all prissy that I normally pay $20 and she all prissily told me back that my insurance had lapsed which is why my registration cost went up. So I had to fork out an extra $90 there too!

Fast forward again to January 2015, I go to court and my citation is $300!! I was so upset at myself for not paying better attention to my finances.

What I learned:

  • There are consequences for not paying attention to your finances.
  • Automate, Automate, Automate (I did, and still do).
  • Notify all important financial institutions when you make a change in your life that may affect your finances.
  • Have an excel file or whatever works best for you with all important financial information.
  • Have an emergency fund for when small gremlins like this creep up.

Honestly if I could get away with it, I would not have car. Instead, I’d have a horse!! They don’t require insurance… they?

Kat on a horse

What was your most expensive financial lesson? I hope it wasn’t as eventful as mine.

Kat is a pre-nursing student by day and nanny by night. She loves reading, shopping at thrift stores and Target, and taking spontaneous road trips whenever she has free time. She is blogging about her journey through school and life at Hello Pre Nurse.

Have you ever made a huge financial mistake? This blogger shares tips and tricks to help you avoid them!

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10 responses to “My Most Expensive Financial Lesson

  1. Oh, wow – what a rough lesson to learn! I’m pretty surprised the insurance company didn’t try to reach you in another way. Thank you for sharing this story!

    1. Thank you Amy! I was pretty upset that they hadn’t tried to call me. They have my number on file and have called me before. However, I do take fully responsibility for not being more aware of my finances!

  2. Wow, that is crazy. Thank you for sharing your story, Kathleen.

    I can easily see that happening. We had a similar situation with medical bills. We had bills from not just one hospital, but about 3-5 providers. One for blood work. One for an anesthesiologist. One for the hospital. You get the idea. We paid all that we owed. Or so we thought. My wife kept getting a call on her phone, and I finally answered it one day. It was collections calling on about $130 from a gastroenterologist office. Out of the thousands we paid, we missed $130. Never got a call from the doctor’s office.

    1. John, It’s so crazy to me how they don’t call. They just send it to collections!! I have been on it though. I created a filing system immediately after that happens! Hospitals are like this too, I’ve had a few go to collections because the office wouldn’t call and tell me I have a balance!

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