Posted by Tim Stobbs on July 16, 2009
Well I’ve had one of those weeks recently were you shake your head at yourself. I’ve managed twice recently to toss money down the drain by my own fault.
The first one was simple enough the clerk at the grocery store accidently scanned the next person’s in line item onto my bill. So she goes about reversing it. Yet while doing this she keeps passing the item over the scanner adding more copies of the same item to my bill. So after watching her do this several times and trying to fix the issue she said “I think I got them all removed.” The word ‘think’ should have been my red flag to check the bill afterwards, but I just took the bill and walked away grateful to be away from that mess. It’s only at home did I examine the bill in detail to realize she scanned the item on 7 times but only took it off 3 times so I paid for $5 of juice that I never got.
Then my second mistake was even bigger. I finally got around to looking at all my e-statements for my TFSA account and noticed something odd. At one point I contributed $510 instead of $500 that I thought I had. So after doing the math over several statements it became clear. I’ve over contributed to my TFSA account and have been at that point for several months now. So now I get to find out at tax time exactly how that penalty works and how much tax I own. I’m not clear on what the 1% penalty per month is calculated exactly since I’ve read references to it in two different ways. I either owe about $60/month that I was over (the penalty is calculated on the highest balance during that month) or $0.10/month (if the penalty is calculated only on the over contribution amount). Hence all this lovely tax savings I’m suppose to get from this account might be flushed down the drain this year from my own fault of not checking these statements earlier.
So my lesson from this week is pay attention to what you are doing. There are literally thousands of ways to lose money by not paying attention and doing something stupid. So if you are feeling brave, feel free to share how you have recently lost money by not paying attention in a comment.