Low expectations…

Today is my first day in 90 days that I have had zero children…  I sat at my desk from 9am until noon slogging through all the finance ‘stuff’.  Last few weeks I stole an hour from the bigger girls to do what had to be done including fighting about PMI and figuring out the billing round and round from Fiona’s overnight in the hospital.  Today the treat was going over all the things with a fine tooth comb and I do this every so often because I almost always find a problem (or 5).

You heard that right – in my absolutely normal household expenses I basically ALWAYS find an error.  I’ve come to expect it…

I know these things are pretty common because I used to work near people who’s entire job was to look at invoices and make sure they were right.  Guess what, there are enough errors to support many full-time jobs in the world.  Go look at your bills… Look carefully, look at trends over time…  When I was doing my MBA one of the finance teachers primary job was a fraud specialist and I was fascinated by his job, he said that the best way to catch fraud was to read your mail.  Too many people put faith in institutions to be doing the right thing.  Don’t get me wrong, I think most companies are doing their best, but you can’t just trust without verification.

For example;

Our daycare will randomly revert to the tot pricing for Fiona ($20 more per day than preschool room she is in).  Not sure how it happens and they always fix it but I always catch it.

The town will sometimes misapply our check for the water to one of the other properties under our name and rebill, or, we get credit for payments from a tenant.  I have to remember to check even when I don’t get a bill!

Not to mention the fact that if you have PMI they don’t seem to keep track of when it is over so if you are paying PMI go look and calculate when it should be done and make a note on your calendar to check on it.

Today I was pleasantly surprised with nationstar mortgage. When Nationstar mortgage redid the escrow for the year they found we were over by $25 (reduction in insurance rate, and, minor other reduction).  I am overpaying that mortgage by 1/12th a month to pay off the principal faster and have that extra built into the auto pay.  The bright thing they did was to reduce the amount I was paying total (including the extra) by $25.  I’m incredibly impressed by this because way too often when they refigure the total due they just pop that new number in and beans with any special other things going on.  See, low expectations….

It might sound like I harp on every extra penny but I really don’t.  I don’t do this review weekly, I do it every few months to make sure things are good.  Once I found out our (old) insurance had stopped debiting because they messed up a form in their system and we never got a notice, I just saw they had not deducted for a month… I’ve found items billed on phone/cable/internet bills that didn’t exist, I’ve basically seen too much to trust the system(s)

Ok, enough for the day, I’ve got follow up items for next week set and now on to the bon-bon eating portion of my day off 🙂


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