Monthly Money Mistake – August 2019

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Don’t assume someone else will do it – Monthly Money Mistake – August 2019

Quick recap on my July money mistake and action steps.

Related Post: Monthly Money Mistake – July 2019

This month I was way more intentional with my eating out budget. I did eat out a lot but that was partially due to the fact that we were on holidays for more than 2 weeks this month.  When I eat out on vacation I classify this as a vacation expense and not a monthly food expense.

Related Post: FMS – Part 3 – Creating a Budget in 5 Easy Steps

Even though we were out of town for most of the month we still managed to make a lot of our own meals. Staying with family greatly helped out in this area.   There were a few times when I could have eaten out but chose to make a meal instead.

Related Post: How to Save Money on Groceries – 15 Best Tips

When I did choose to eat out this month I was more mindful. I enjoyed when I choose to eat out as opposed to just eating out for convenience or laziness.  Being on holidays greatly helped with this.  There was never a rush to do anything.

As I was out of town for most of the month I also had greater access to different restaurants and food choices.  I love to try new things and food is no different.  This greatly added to my enjoyment of it this month.

Okay, let’s get to this month’s money mistake. 

Monthly Money Mistake - August 2019. This month's money mistake is don't assume someone else will do it.  Read on for how this could cost or save your hundreds of dollars next month. #moneymistake #dontassume #handfulofthoughts

The Mistake

This month’s money mistake has to do with the renovation I am currently undertaking on my new to me home.   Even though I invest in real estate and own multiple properties, I have never done a major renovation.

When we purchased our new-to-us home, we decided to completely renovate the upstairs.  We got a great deal on the home, and the renovation will enable us to live there for a long time as our family grows.  Although buying a new home and renovating it isn’t the most budget conscious decision it was the right one for our situation. 

With a growing family we were looking for a place that was more functional. We found it in our new place. Just needed to do some renovations to make it perfect for us. 

The renovations themselves weren’t a mistake. We got a great contractor and a great price so a win-win in that department. 

As it’s an older house it needed to have the exterior sewer line replaced. The property still had the original tar paper sewer line and it had partially collapsed. Although it was not a current issue in the property, it had the potential to become a major one.

Prior to buying the property we had an inspection done and discovered the sewer line issue.  We negotitated with the sellers and were able to get them to pay for the replacement of the sewer line.  Another win for us.

All good so far, here comes the mistake. 

When I got the quote from the company that was going to replace the sewer line it stated that the water would have to be shut off during the replacement. Seemed fairly standard so I never thought to follow up on this. 

I thought the company would take care of this because it would be something they were more familiar with. Nowhere did the quote state that this would be my responsibility. 

Turns out it was my responsibility. 

Don’t assume someone else will do it!

Because I didn’t know this or make previous arrangements with the water company they charged me an extra $200 to do shut the water off on short notice the day off. Had I called in advance it still would have cost me to shut the water off, just $200 less. 

The Lesson

When it comes to getting work done, don’t assume someone else will do it. 

A simple conversation with the company doing the sewer line work could have saved me a few hundred dollars. 

I’m usually a fairly organized and meticulous person so missing this detail was very frustrating. 

Another contributing factor to this monthly money mistake was how busy I was at the time. All the planning for this happened during the busy month of June when I was back to work from maternity leave, packing up the house to put our things in storage for a few months and cleaning our current home to get it ready to rent.

Taking in too many things at once often results in things being missed

Even though the planning for all of this happened back in June.  The work and billing for everything wasn’t complete until August. Therefore, making it this month’s money mistake.  Back in June I set everything up and then to be honest, sort of forgot about it with everything else going on.

Action Steps

One thing that I would like to improve on is taking on less things at once. I would like to master the habit of doing a few things really well. As opposed to a lot of things so-so. 

Oddly enough, it’s when I slow down and “do less” that I actually feel better and can accomplish more. 

Related Post: FMS – Part 2 – Goal Setting

As there were 2 contributing factors to this month’s money mistake (don’t assume someone else will do it) I’m going to combine action steps for both. 

  • Double check who is responsible for each task when provided with a service quote.  
    • Don’t assume someone else will do it.
  • Get everything in writing related to any service quote. 
    • Again, don’t assume someone else will do it.
  • Not commit to any new tasks for the next month.  
    • With the busy season for my work coming up, this will be key to my sanity.
  • Make a list of all current tasks and decide which ones to keep and which ones can be eliminated 

Final Thoughts

This summer has been a very busy one for many factors. Two long stay vacations, my sister’s wedding, renting out our house, moving into my parents place while the renovations are done at our place, packing up all our stuff into storage – just to name a few.  

Although this month’s money mistake of assuming someone else will do it, cost me a few hundred dollars I think it could have been way worse. 

I’m not happy with losing a couple hundred dollars but am grateful for the progress I’ve made in last month’s money mistake.   

There are going to be stumbles along the way, but in the grand scheme of things as long as I’m making good decisions when it comes to the big-ticket money items, then I think I’m doing okay.

Continued progress will hopefully help to slowly decrease my money mistakes as I continue to become more mindful with money. 

What was your money mistake this month?

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2 Comments

  1. I found that with building/ renovating you end up having to be a micromanager a bit! Small things get overlooked and no one cares more about your build/ renovation than you do, similar to money!

    1. That is definitely what we have learned from this experience. This renovation solidifies my desire to not do major renovations. I know there are people out there that make good money with renovations and fix and flips, but that’s not for me. I would rather spend my time and energy on other things.

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