Strange, But Real: Financial Emergencies
Sometimes saving for a rainy day is not enough, which is why financial planning requires more than just smart money management. Even companies with automated billing systems can make mistakes that could cost you if you don’t keep track of your bills. These accidents are a bit far-fetched, but things like this happen to everyone.
That Time The Power Company Mistakenly Billed You
Nelson Mandela has received an apology after South Africa mistakenly sent him a notice for non-payment of his power bill. The amount due was a staggering $660 US, but the notice was meant for a different home. Mandela, aged 95, is actually recovering in a hospital from a lung infection and has not been home for the past two months. Apparently the company makes this mistake frequently, but felt the need to issue an apology after the embarrassing mistake about the President’s account.
In the mortgage mishap of this last decade, there has been a lot of alleged foul play with big banks “forgetting” paperwork that homeowners sent in. Keep detailed records of all of the paperwork you send to banks, including dates and contact information for the agents you work with, and create a system of storing paid bills so that you can provide proof of payment if that is ever called into question.
That Time You Had to Pay a $20,000 Bond
A man from Eastern Missouri is facing a $20,000 cash-only bond for his alleged attack of a 13 year-old boy and two friends. He forced the boys to drink a shot of vodka before getting into fisticuffs with them, and when police showed up he brought the fight to them too. Bizarre, but true. The boys had apparently wanted to mow the man’s lawn for a total of $20. He now sits accused of disarming a police officer and two counts of misdemeanor assault.
Ok, so you hopefully don’t go beating up kids but anyone can be pushed to the brink with the right choice of words. Even if you are a totally law-abiding citizen, mistakes can happen. Retain an attorney for you and your family, which will help in other matters too. Look for lawyers that offer free legal advice, and be wary of anyone who charges by the hour for phone calls and other menial visits. Knowledge of resources like ExpertBail.com are also nice to have around as a backup in case the judge orders a hefty bail for your court appearance.
That Time You Left $10,000 in a Hotel Room
When Cody Schaefer’s son walked into their Kansas city hotel room, Schaefer thought the kid was just playing around when he started rifling through the contents of their room. It turns out that his son uncovered $10,000 in neatly stacked bills. The boy, a cub scout, turned the money into police. Police are unable to track down all of the guests at the hotel, and the money remains unclaimed. According to Missouri state law, that money may go back to the Schaefers if no one can prove ownership.
You probably shouldn’t walk around with your life savings in a suitcase. It makes for a nice effect in movies, but holding your money in an interest bearing bank account is a much better plan. If you plan to conduct a large transaction with cash, like purchasing a car, do it with a cashier’s check made out to the payee. If you need to travel across state or country lines with more than $10,000 in cash, you will need to declare that money and be prepared to give reasons why you have that much.
In general, try to find safer ways to manage your money wherever possible!
(I’d like to thank Ryan for this entertaining guest post! -Don).