Friday Financial Foul Ups: Giants, Elves, and the $86 Movie I Never Even Finished

This week’s Friday Financial Foul Up will feature a guest post from Kristin Norris of Instigationology. Kristin is one of those amazing people that makes me thankful for the internet’s existence.  Her writing is witty, intelligent and most importantly, honest.  Kristin is also a small business owner with her own web design studio, (amazing work that maybe you will see here at My Next Buck one day).  For more Kristin you can (and should) follow her on twitter (@kristin_norris) after you read about her experience with a giant and his movie rental gone rogue.  Enjoy!

Friday Financial Foul Ups has been nominated for a Plutus Award. Please go here and give it a vote for Best Multi-Part Series.  If you would like to add your own financial foul up to this series, please contact me here.


The Situation

So, I was dating this guy (and really, shouldn’t all juicy financial foul ups start this way?), and this guy, he was a decent sized fellow (this is not relevant to the story other than to set the contrast to my rather elfish frame as a basis for understanding why on earth a lady of my …insert whatever attributes you see me as having here… would be intimidated).

Back to the guy: His evening plan involved watching the much touted (at the time) documentary Murderball, which was so touted that it wasn’t even available at the local Blockbuster and said Giant and I headed to the Sure to Have Whatever Random Indie or Foreign Flick Your Heart Desires for Only 99¢ video rental place.

Where I Fouled Up

The point of the story: my oh-so-cute-and-bashful college self went along and signed up for an account at that 99¢ video store and rented Murderball. Which later got lost in my car. Maybe after I hated the movie just a little bit and hated being intimidated into doing pretty much anything just a little bit more and maybe after dumping the giant in an email while he was in Peru with his family because, well, because he was still bigger than me. And I’m oh-so-cute-and-bashful, remember?

So, Murderball is sitting somewhere hidden in my car, maybe intentionally, and I’m thinking ‘I’ll bring it by the store tomorrow, or tomorrow, or maybe tomorrow.’ And this goes on for, oh… maybe a year? And by now I’m just intimidated by late fees that likely match my now ex in stature, so I think ‘It’s a little video store. They never called. It probably just went under the radar…’

Fast forward 3 years: (yeah, this came back to bite me that much later) and I’m dating a new guy who’s not so big but just the right size and we’re running around like a couple of crazies talking about destroying our relationship by moving in together and we walk into the apartment of our We Totally Have to Have Separate Rooms and You Know What? Two Floors is Good, We’ll Never Not Kill Each Other Otherwise, Oh! And Separate Bathrooms Because Boys Smell dreams and the application process begins (totally complete with dressing up like the children of well to do upper class parents who would totally support us if our independent businesses fail, just in case, because we’re definitely the youngest people in the neighborhood).

And we’re approved! Sort of. He is. I’m not. Because there’s kind of this little thing on my credit report that I have to take care of first. And I’m thinking, ‘WHAT?’ and rocking back and forth to calm down the giant purple she-hulk that is about to burst out of my frilly little summer dress that I picked out just for this interview.

Back at the safety of our computers: I’m frantically filling out the never ending security questions to get a copy of my credit report in hand and there it is, someone has sent a collection agency after me.

Back up: I come from a financial background of a child of reasonable middle class parents who are so awesome they would offer to sacrifice their discretionary income to support me if my independent business fails and not make me feel guilty about it. (Mostly, anyway.) So I did a whole lot of worrying about money but not really a whole lot of thinking about money.

So wait: Collection agencies are a real thing? Ok, I’m not stupid (though I do think anytime you have to claim you’re not something you should probably second guess that claim), but really? And I owe them $86? And yesterday I only owed them $65? This is not good. What am I going to owe them tomorrow? My first born? I just want an apartment with my own little corner to write my ridiculous blog posts from in peace.

So I call: They’ve been chasing me for years but haven’t been able to find me because I move like a cheetah (or like a noncommittal recent college graduate who doesn’t sign leases but jumps from open room to open room – regardless I actually have a moment of feeling like a criminal badass here). And they’ve been hired by some independently owned video store about a missing DVD… (you saw where this is going, right?)

And what can I do? My credit is now iffy, it might take weeks to get that off my record, and I’m out $86. (And we have to go back to that interview and I don’t have another cute summer dress.)

Well, I’ll tell you. I paid it. Out of pocket. No, my awesome parents didn’t help out. I’m actually pretty big on owning up to my own mistakes and paying for them myself. The perfectly sized boy didn’t leave me because my credit was marred (this was actually a concern of mine for about an hour). And we got that apartment and somehow perfectly sized boy talked me into giving up my separate room for a mutual office out of practicality and that practicality had us oh-so-lovingly at each other’s throats for about a year, but now he’s on the other side of the world and we’re totally besties again. But none of that is really relevant to the story.

What I Learned

Oh, but wasn’t it a lot!

1. Don’t date Giants. Unless they’re BFGs. In which case, call me Sophie and it’s on! (Too obscure?)
2. Return your movies. If you still rent. In which case, what planet are you on and just get Netflix already!
3. CHECK YOUR CREDIT REPORT EVERY YEAR! This was far from the most embarrassing moment of my life (give me a couple glasses of vino and I have got some stories for you!) but it certainly wasn’t fun and I certainly wouldn’t want to go through it again.


Do you like this series? Check Out The Previous Foul Ups:

Foul Up #22 – Kyle (Suburban Dollar) – Being Down on High Interest Checking Accounts
Foul Up #21 – Brian (My Next Buck) – Pale Dude’s Shouldn’t Go Tanning
Foul Up #20 – Shawanda (You Have More Than You Think) – How Financial Knowledge Can Hurt
Foul Up #19 – Christine (Money Funk) – Love Can Hurt Your Financial Situation
Foul Up #18 – Clayton (Just Good Financial Advice) – Trying to Get Rich Quick
Foul Up #17 – Craig (Budget Pulse) – Black Friday Purchase Becomes a Dust Collector
Foul Up #16 – Jesse (PF Firewall) – The Fine Print of Rental Properties
Foul Up #15 – Paul (Fiscal Geek) – Unsuccessfully Restoring American Muscle
Foul Up #14 – Mrs. Micah (Mrs. Micah – Finance For a Freelance Life) – How Getting Married Wrecked My Finances
Foul Up #13 – Evan (My Journey To Millions) – Speeding Up Payments on Loan Interest, Not Principal
Foul Up #12 – Elle (Couple Money) – Stretching Yourself to have a Comparable Car to Your Friends
Foul Up #11 – Revanche (A Gai Shan Life) – Sibling Bailouts Cost More than Just Money
Foul Up #10 – Brad (Enemy Of Debt) – There’s Nothing Interesting About Interest-Only Loans
Foul Up #9 – Jason (Redeeming Riches) – Buying a Car with a Balloon Payment at the End
Foul Up #8 – David (Money Under 30) – Being Too Eager to “Move Out” and “Move Up”
Foul Up #7 – Matt (Debt Free Adventure) – Upside Down and Paying The Price
Foul Up #6 – Brian (MyNextBuck) – Overdue Books Prevent Me From Renting an Apt
Foul Up #5 – Kelly Whalen (The Centsible Life) – Poorly Planned Vehicle Purchase Costs $24,000
Foul Up #4 – Stephanie (Poorer Than You) – Signed My Life Away at Age 17
Foul Up #3 – Deliver Away Debt – How I Wasted Over $10K and 11 Months
Foul Up #2 – Brian (MyNextBuck) – Quick Fixes to Weight Loss
Foul Up #1 – Brian (MyNextBuck) – How I Didn’t Earn $3000 in Free Money

5 Responses to Friday Financial Foul Ups: Giants, Elves, and the $86 Movie I Never Even Finished
  1. Mrs. Micah
    March 13, 2010 | 8:24 pm

    I’ve always been paranoid about that kind of thing, especially about losing items and having to pay outrageous replacement fees (though in fairness to the stores, it does cost them more to buy a DVD than it does for an ordinary person). Library fines can also end up on your credit report.

  2. Keith Morris
    March 15, 2010 | 6:57 am

    I was just telling Mrs. Micah about my own financial foulup: I had saved money to pay the taxes that I knew I was going to owe this year due to several months of self-employment. When I started entering my forms into TurboTax, it was becoming apparent that I had saved more than I was going to owe. We were waiting for one final 1099 to come in when my wife decided she’d had enough of her computer crashing. I estimated the impact of the 1099 on our taxes, and we spent the extra money we had saved on new computers. When the 1099 finally came, my estimations were off, and we were $1,000 short. Luckily I had enough money in other accounts to pay for it.

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    February 21, 2016 | 11:43 am

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