Out of sight, out of mind, out of pocket

Tuesday night, we had our first session in about a month with Lisa, our organizer. As we were finishing up, I mentioned that I wanted to make another pass at the kitchen desk next time, because I didn’t think that the place we’d chosen to put folders for “Bills to Pay” and other deferrable actions was really working out for us.

Boy, was I right.

Wednesday, there was a bill from the DMV in the mail for car registration. When I opened it, I discovered that it wasn’t the usual “courtesy reminder”, but a note telling me that I was two months overdue at registering, and that there was a serious penalty due. I hunted through my checkbook and credit card records and couldn’t find any evidence that I’d paid them; I knew that not having gotten the “reminder” was not a sufficient excuse, but I was ready to try it anyway.

Then I thought to look in the “Bills to Pay” folder on the kitchen desk. And there, all alone (fortunately!), was the reminder that DMV had sent me back in December, nearly two months before the registration needed to be renewed. I guess I must have put it in the folder and then not bothered to look at it again.

By waiting to pay the bill until it was actually due, I probably made half-a-cent in interest. At that rate, it’ll take less than 700 years to break even on the penalty.

I think I need a better place to put “Bills to Pay”.