Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Budget Nerd Saves the Day!

There's only so many times you can really be proud of flaunting your Excel budgeting OCD prowess.  This week was one of them.  Remember us going to Huntsville a couple of weekends ago for the Carroll Nuptials?  While there we went out both Friday and Saturday nights, to help boost the local economy of course.  When Mr. Smith and I usually go out, we use my credit card, because I refuse to change it over to "Smith."  Know why?  Because people like to say the name "Smith" as their name for their tab, even if that's not their real last name.  Hmmmp.  However, Friday night Mr. Smith proceeded to open a tab under his last name.  I really didn't even think twice about it, and at the end of the night, requested our receipt for budgeting purposes.  Mr. Smith rolled his eyes and handed me a very crumbled up receipt, totaling $16.39. 

Let me take a breather here and tell you that although online banking is the best thing since sliced bread, it's still important to keep your receipts until they clear on your statements.  Mr. Smith is still getting use to my constant inquiries of... "Hey!  Where's your receipt for this?" and his subsequent eyerolls. 

Which leads us back to that Friday night.  Having both receipts from Friday and Saturday nights, I reviewed our online credit card statements on Tuesday morning (because nothing ever clears until Tuesday).  Interesting enough, there were two charges for our Friday night at Humphrey's, not just our $16.39 one, but another one for about $50.  (The Saturday night one under my maiden name cleared perfectly fine...)  Stumped, I quizzed Mr. Smith.  "Did you have another tab open that I didn't know about?"  He professed his innocence and told me to ahem, calm down and wait a few days before sounding the alarm.  Which I did, I swear. 

A week went by, so this past Monday I got up the courage to call Humphrey's and demand a free tab forever at this atrocity and ask about the charge.  Let me tell you, the bartender who answered was not impressed, until I recounted with precision the 3 frosty beverages we had had, along with the correct receipt (it really does pay to have a memory like an elephant sometimes).  Now, I'm sure they get this sort of thing a lot, but maybe they're not used to dealing with a Budget Nerd.  And folks, that $50 was not accounted for in our budget for someone else's free night o' fun.  She forwarded me to the Manager, Melissa, who was very nice, yet skeptical and said she would look into it.  Melissa called me the next day and said lo and behold the signatures did not match and she would reverse the erroneous charge!  Success! 

The moral of this fun little story is to keep your receipts and watch out for yourself!  Even if your name is not "Smith" there still could be someone looking for their own free night o' fun at your expense.  And if your spouse rolls their eyes at you for doing this, hopefully you can have your own little victory day too!


  1. I have to say, "you go girl." I am so with Martin on the receipts thing, though. Clay is always asking me for my receipts, and I always throw them away! This is a good lesson for me to remember!

  2. Does budget nerd have a theme song?

  3. What a good idea! I'm terrible at saving receipts but this is a good reason to. Thanks!