Expecting the Unexpected
Many of us, myself included in this group, tend to keep our eyes on the big picture. Which is good, because it’s in our best interest to have a sense of purpose, work toward goals, and be able to discern what’s truly important and what isn’t.
Sometimes, a part of this big picture is what like to think of as “Expecting the Unexpected”. Now, sometimes the unexpected can be great. For example: a promotion that comes out of nowhere, winning a contest, or even finding out that the great looking person in accounting is interested in you:) Other times, however, the unexpected can be not so great…and not necessarily fair either. But things happen.
A recent article in The Wall Street Journal described the story about how a woman was unable to refinance her home due to an erroneous medical bill being sent to collections. Basically, she had been mistakenly billed with two $11 charges by her doctor’s office. The bills went to collections, her credit score plummeted from 757 to 680, and she was told that she would have to pay sky high closing costs for the refinancing deal she hoped to complete.
According to the article, she has since disputed the charges, and they will be gone from her report in 30 days. However, if interest rates go up, she could have missed out on an opportunity.
Another situation, this one relayed to me by a friend, illustrates how unexpected situations can arise. The friend and his colleague were on a business trip, and rented a car to get to their hotel late at night. They tried to get onto a toll road, and found that there were lanes for a) drivers with a toll road transponder, and b) drivers who had to pay cash.
They were from out of town, so naturally they didn’t have a transponder. So, they went to the lane for drivers with cash. The only problem was that there was nobody in the booth! So, not knowing what to do, and with no way to turn around, they drove past the booth. Just as they passed the booth, they were stopped by a cop. The way the story went, the guy pulled them over for not paying. Naturally, the driver pleaded his case, saying they were from out of town and were provided no options to pay. Apparently, from what I was told, the guy let them off after they pleaded their case.
Still, the whole thing wasn’t fair, right? Who could expect to have something like that happen?
Well, things do happen.
Ultimately, this is an example of how things aren’t always fair, but we have to deal with them. Sure, we can try to rectify injustices, as how the lady in the aforementioned article did. If we’re truly not at fault, we should get things corrected. Sure, not always without big hassles, but through perseverance and a clear mind and perspective, problems can be resolved and/or minimized.
An example of how somebody was not able to expect the unexpected is the Ryanair passenger who lost out on a lottery winning of 10,000 euros. This story from the Telegraph highlights how the passenger won a scratch-off card game, and expected that he would be able to collect his winnings on the spot. When told that he wouldn’t be paid immediately, and had to collect the money from the company running the competition, he lost it. Apparently, in anger, he ate the winning ticket!
He wasn’t able to handle the unexpected, and it cost him.
My takeaway from these stories: Expect the unexpected, and realize that things will happen to us that might be unfair. These events might require us to fight to get our money, and sometimes we might not succeed. If that happens, move on. But if we aren’t able to deal with these realities….we have the Ryanair passenger to serve as an example of where that can lead us:)
Have you ever experienced any such situations? What was your approach to handling them?
Giveaways and Scholarships
- Invest It Wisely is holding a “Skinny Christmas” giveaway. Numerous copies of books in the “Skinny on” series will be given away, covering credit cards, real estate, and creativity.
- Happy Heart and Mind, a blog I recently discovered, is giving away a free copy of her E-Book: “Meaningful Celebration”.
- Yakezie, as many of you might know, is currently publishing essays from applicants for the first monthly scholarship. Check out the site to see program rules.
Recommended Reading from the Personal Finance Blogosphere
There were some really good articles this week around the personal finance blogosphere. Here are 10 that particularly caught my eye:
- Christmas Experiences During the Great Depression, at Money Reasons. This is a neat story about family and being thankful for what we have.
- Beware the PayPal Email Scam, at Everyday Tips and Thoughts. Good reminder to be careful!
- How I Make Money Blogging, at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff. It’s neat to see how a successful blog does it, and Crystal has impressed me with her accomplishments.
- Restaurant Gift Cards – Holiday Promotions, a Comprehensive List, at Wealth Informatics. This is a really good list of opportunities to save, and I have to say that I’ve actually used her tactics as well.
- 20 Ways You can Save Money on Gas, at My Personal Finance Journey. Check it out, it’s a comprehensive list, and besides – who doesn’t want to save money on gas?
- The Gap, at Free Money Finance. Simple, concise, and echoes what I advocate here.
- The Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur, at Pop Economics. This piece highlights the commonalities that successful entrepreneurs have, some of which are counter to popular myths
- Will Your Legacy Be More Than Money?, at Money Ning. One can leave money to future generations, but it’s important to focus on making sure memories and lessons get passed on as well.
- Financial Areas of Improvement, at The Wealth Artisan. Good reminder to take stock and evaluate how you’re doing things, and I also like the line “your finances should overflow”!
- My Life Without Christmas, at Aloysa’s Kitchen Sink. It’s interesting how Christmas can be approached very differently depending on where one lives, and this post brings that idea to life with a first hand account.