Last week I reported that I am innumerate. It’s like being illiterate only it’s about numbers. Numbers mean nothing to me. For example, I don’t know how far it is to Charlotte from Black Mountain or how far to the moon. I do know it’s farther to the moon, but not by how much. I can’t do arithmetic in my head and I certainly can’t balance my checkbook. I figure the people at the bank are better at math than I am, so let them do the figuring. Last week I mentioned that I inadvertently glanced at my personal checking statement and noticed routine deductions from a so-called service organization. Several people have asked me about what kind of cockamamie service organization has been taking a great handful of money from my personal account every month. And I now know.
This “service” business has been charging me for services connected to locating books, movies, and who knows what else. I do know I never signed up for this service, and I also know that I have not used this service. After I sent out last week’s newsletter, I heard back from them, in response to a nasty email, explaining what they do. I told them impolitely that I did not want their help, and the person (robot?) on the other end of the chat very politely told me that he would cancel the account and also the credit card (CREDIT CARD???) associated with it. I thanked him warmly and told him I loved him. I received a smily face reply.
All this is just to recant what I previously said, that there was “no point to upsetting yourself by looking at your bank statement.” There certainly is a benefit to at least looking over your bank statement. If I hadn’t, I would not have had the opportunity to cancel this stupid expense. Years ago someone I know ordered the New York Times to be delivered to his home every day. He, like me, never checked his bank statement. He moved to another town and a few years later he, like me, glanced at his bank statement. He discovered that he was still paying for newspaper delivery at his old address years later! He was furious with the people who now lived there, but of course he was at fault for not noticing this huge expense every month! I can say this because I am guilty of the same behavior.
In my head I understand the importance of checking one’s bank statement, but in my gut I know that it is too scary for me to do it. On the times when I look at the numbers on my statement I see mysterious small expenses from Apple and PayPal. I have no clue what they are for, and my mind always goes to worse case scenario. For example, if I don’t hear from Abby for a few days, I immediately think she must be kidnapped and held hostage by terrorists, and so with the bank expenses, I fear that I am being scammed.
On the other hand, I felt an infusion of courage from my recent success in cancelllng that weird unnecessary service. I went back to my personal statement and found two more questionable expenses. With my heart pounding I tracked them down and canceled both. I feel really stupid and gullible for paying for weird stuff sometimes for years, but I’m proud that I am finally facing my fears. And acting like an adult. Finally. Now where did I put that Valium?