The 4 Money Mistakes I’ve Made In The Last 4 Days (And How I’ll Avoid Them Tomorrow)

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I went away for the weekend, which means that I also got to spend some time with Vacation Mary (who, as I’ve discussed before, can be a really crazy broad). Upon returning, I found myself having an insanely difficult time transitioning back into Monday-Mode (weeeeh I don’t want to work, and I don’t want to keep growing up), and ended up carrying some of my weekend-getaway-financial-stupidity into my workweek. These are the four biggest mistakes I made from Saturday (when I was away) to Tuesday (when I realized I needed to get my shit together and get back in the game, instead of paying zero attention to anything).

If you read this and think “Wow, Mary is a disaster!” you might be low-key right, but you also should know that now, as it is Wednesday (the glorious point in the week where you get to decide if you want to keep messing up heavily, or turn the week around before it ends), I am going to stop my bad streak right here. I won’t make these mistakes today, or tomorrow. (I hope.)

Saturday: I drunk-summoned Uber even though the fare was extra-high.

My laziness strikes again. It was a beautiful night in Boston and we walked hella far (in flip-flops) and got a little too drunk before the insane downpour started and I was left standing in the doorway of the bar wondering how I’d make it back to the hotel alive. I could have walked, or maybe waited for the rain to calm down a bit. But nope – I opened Uber and let the laziness take over. I even accepted the fact that it would cost me extra because ~demand was high~.

Next time, I really really need to just get my shit together and plan ahead, suck it up and walk, or figure out a better option. That was a pricey ride. Why is Uber soooo goddamn convenient?

Sunday: I bought three coffees in one day.

Vacation Mary came in hot this weekend with the active decision to caffeinate herself three times in public in just a single day. I could have just accepted the coffee I had at home in the morning, or not have been a coffee snob and just had the free coffee in the hotel room. But I wasn’t playing games, so I hit up three different coffee joints and spent a grand total of way-too-much on dranks.

Tomorrow, I mustn’t purchase a single cup. And really every day for a while, I need to just make it at home. I sometimes justify it because it is only a couple bucks here or there, and I honestly don’t feel like it is a huge deal since it is a small expense that really does make me happy. But I know it adds up, and I should be mindful of that. I always do really well bringing coffee from home until I have one little slip-up and then I can’t stop. Help me.

Monday: I bought Starbucks for the kids I nanny.

Which is a perfectly okay thing to do, and I don’t feel like I’m so broke that I can’t buy the kids a frappucino as a treat on an unbearably hot day, but it also was $10 that came out of my pocket due to laziness. When my little girl asked for a Starbucks run, I really wanted to say “no” because I didn’t feel like wasting the gas (because our “local” Starbucks is kind of far) and I had some work I needed to get done around the house. However, I didn’t really feel like arguing, so I said yes. Additionally, her mother always leaves a little cash for me to use in case the kids ever need anything while she’s gone, and I was feeling so frazzled and low-key bitter about agreeing to the Great Starbucks Journey that I forgot to grab it when we ran out the door. So, I paid for it myself. And I could grab some cash out of the envelope from their mother to “pay myself back”, but I actually for some reason feel really guilty doing that, and feel like it is my duty as their caretaker to buy them stuff sometimes. I’m conflicted. But I’m also $10 poorer.

Tomorrow, when one of the kids inevitably asks for donuts/ice cream/Starbucks/an unnecessary car trip somewhere, I will try to be firmer with my “no,” or at least remember to grab their mom’s cash before we head out.

Tuesday: I missed the return date on a rented textbook.

I knew the textbook I rented for my summer class was due this week, but it slipped my mind to check the exact date it needed to be dropped off. I ended up missing it by one freaking day. Because I missed it, the rental was automatically extended and I was charged $10 extra. Not a terrible fee, but that is $10 I definitely money I didn’t need to lose, and I wouldn’t have if I paid closer attention.

Next time I rent textbooks, I want to write the return date on all of my calendars, and also write the date on a piece of paper and tape it inside the book. This way, it can service as a reminder every time I open the book that it needs to be returned by that date if I don’t want to get charged. I’m really hurting about this mistake.

Mary is the summer Media Fellow at The Financial Diet. Send her your summer intern stories (your lessons, failures, triumphs and good advice) at mary@thefinancialdiet.com

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