I got a weird phone call the other day. I thought it was a spam call, but decided to listen anyway.
It was a call from my electric company saying that my account was past due and it gave me the option to pay by phone.
Clearly, I did not choose the pay-by-phone option, as that is how a lot of scams happen. But just to be safe, I went online and checked my account. Which hadn’t been paid since JULY.
This is entirely my fault. I can’t blame anyone else. I didn’t have the account on auto-pay, instead relying on the email notifications that my bill was ready to view. And well, I hadn’t received one of those notifications since July. So I hadn’t gone in to pay the bill.
This might justify being late on one payment. But in reviewing my budget, I should have noticed that I didn’t pay the electric bill in August. Or September. And yet, I didn’t. Why? Because I focused too much on the more flexible areas of my account, the areas where I have more control. In general, I just try to be frugal with my utilities.
But I should have noticed.
I’m really kicking myself for this one. Thankfully, the fees weren’t bad – only about $30. Which is really a bargain, if you think about it. I could have been hit for some massive charges. But that’s $30 I didn’t need to spend.
It’s a lesson learned the hard way, and I’m definitely going to pay much closer attention to the numbers in all of the categories, not just the ones I have immediate control over. No more missing bills. This is not what someone with good financial smarts does.