Have You Ever Had A Financial Freak Out Moment?

Have you ever had a moment where you just flipped out about something money related? That happened to me last week.  The worst part is that my financial freak out ended up being a total false alarm!

Costco Rewards Time Is Almost Near

Around the beginning part of the year, holders of the Costco American Express card receive a paper certificate, on the last page of which contains your certificate for the rewards you’ve earned by making purchases on the card throughout the year.

We use the American Express for a lot, so the 3% rewards on gas is usually a big driver, plus 1% on everyday purchases.  This year, we got a big boost because travel purchases receive 2%, and so we put the entirety of the trip to Disney World on the trip, earning a nice chunk of change.

All told, our reward for the year was over $350!

The Paper Statement Memory

We also have a couple of other cash back reward cards, both through Citi Master Card.  We use these cards as they often have rotating categories of up to 5%.  Both of the cards that my wife and I use had amounts over the $50 threshold for which you can request a redemption.

I decided to submit the claim for the rewards around the same time, so we would have the full amount of all of our rewards available around the same time.

Even though I logged into both of our accounts, my wife still got the e-mail verification about her card, and commented about it.  I told her the plan to get all three rewards piled together, at which point we could decide how to use the funds.

I remembered that a week or two prior, we’d gotten a statement from American Express. Since we do everything electronically, I imprinted a memory that it was probably the statement with the rewards certificate, as that’s the only time they ever send us a paper statement.

I casually mentioned to my wife that she just needed to take the certificate in next time she went to Costco, and get it redeemed for cash, which we could then deposit.

The Worst Two Words I Could Hear

My heart kind of sank when she said “What certificate?”

I mentioned that it was with the statement that we had received a couple of weeks ago.  Still calm, I reminded her that she had even pointed out that we had a statement.  I also pointed out (by this time, my voice probably raising a couple of octaves) that she always takes mail that I need to keep and sticks it in a little organizer that we use.

I went to the organizer and it wasn’t there.  She had no recollection of putting it there.

Financial Freak Out: Not A  Good Five Minutes

After that it was a pretty chaotic few minutes.  I was blaming her for not putting the piece of mail in the right spot where she usually puts all mail.  She claimed that she didn’t remember even seeing the statement.

It wasn’t a very fun conversation (if you could even call it that).

I looked online about what to do if you lose a certificate, and the answer was not good.  I found a few forums that said that they don’t re-issue the certificates if they’re lost.

Basically, you’re S.O.L.

This didn’t help the tone of the conversation.mb-2014-12stressed

Confusion On Multiple Ends

My wife decided to find out for herself if this was correct. By now, we were past the yelling stage and trying to figure out what to do.  I was even debating going out to the recycling bin and seeing if it was in there.  But, she called American Express and asked what would happen if it was lost or we didn’t receive it.

The agent on the end was a bit confused and said that it hadn’t been mailed out yet.  It was scheduled to be mailed out with our February 24th statement.

I got a bit confused.

But at least we calmed down.

Presenting….My Brian Williams Moment

Then, the next day it hit me.  It all came down to the paper statement.  See, I knew we’d received one.   We received a statement because we closed a different card, and apparently they send you a final statement in paper form.

So, I had my Brian Williams moment.   My financial freak out moment.  Luckily for me, my ‘conflation’ didn’t cost me my job or reputation, and it didn’t even cost me any money.

Though I did have to eat a bit of crow as I apologized to my wife…who was right all along!  As they usually are, of course!  A lesson I just need to remember….


Readers, what financial freak out moments have you had, and have you had one recently where it was all for nothing?

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

3 thoughts on “Have You Ever Had A Financial Freak Out Moment?

  1. Haha – because you can laugh about it now. My last money-related freak out was messing up signing up for tutoring. It is one of my main side hustles and only takes place twice a year. They changed the process and I realized, too late, that I wasn’t assigned any students. I usually get a lot less students in the winter, but it still is extra money we need to pay off debt. I’m trying to use my “extra” time to get ahead on other things, so I can take extra students this summer.
    Harmony @ CreatingMyKaleidoscope recently posted..Let Me Remind You About The Great DepressionMy Profile

    • Don’t you just hate when they change the process? Even when they notify you, your mind is still likely locked into the old way so you have a good chance at missing it. Well, for you, missing the first time anyway, as it sounds like you’ll be back in the game on the next opportunity!

  2. Hah mine was about a Chase card, but it was all internal turmoil. PiC and I had had some confusion over one of the newer cards he hadn’t linked to Mint yet so I didn’t know to pay it. He’d sorted it out over the phone and texted me about it, but about 3.5 weeks later, just long enough for the details to be fuzzy, I received a “your account is overdue” letter. I logged online, but his passwords had recently changed. I checked the texts, the dates didn’t quite seem to line up. I was having a quiet flipout over having an account be late twice in a row but forced myself to go take over with the baby from him and ask him if he could log on and see what was going on. I wasn’t *sure* if it was a problem but I needed to BE sure!

    Five minutes and two distractions later, he told me, puzzled, there was no balance and everything was fine. Boy was I glad I’d sat on my panic, crow doesn’t taste good at all 😉

    Good thing about the Costco card is I think we have til mid-year to reap any rewards we can!
    Revanche recently posted..Just a little (link) love: bouncing penguins editionMy Profile

Comments are closed.