Sandwich Generation: What We Don’t Read Can Be Harmful To Our Pocketbooks!

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Do you read every single piece of mail you get as soon as you get it? Even when you or a loved one are ill, just had a baby, are in the middle of a move, or are just plain overwhelmed with juggling everyone’s schedules? Be honest now. 🙂

I may be smiling, but I’m also very serious. Did you know that some, if not all, mortgage companies do NOT credit a payment you sent in if it is for less than the amount that is due! Apparently I forgot to look at the my normal monthly mortgage statement that came a month or so ago as I was in the throes of all of the above, except the new baby. I have a fixed rate mortgage, so my house payment never changes. Well, it never changes except when they do an annual adjustment for changes to property tax, insurance, etc. So I missed the minor detail that my March payment would be $40 more. $40!!!! Yesterday I got one of those not fun automated phone calls regarding my loan. Being well-versed in NEVER giving out information to phone calls I receive, even if they seem on the level, I hung up and called them back. As I did so, I quickly looked online and discovered to my horror that the March payment was now three weeks overdue! My first thought was that I had forgotten to pay it in the midst of all that was going on. When I looked at my online account and check book, however, I found I had paid it via computer e-pay.

I was in the middle of requesting that my bank research the missing payment when I finally got through all the button pushing to talk to a person. She explained that they had received the payment but because it was $40 short they had not credited my account for ANYTHING! Long story short, I immediately sent the rest of the payment, edited my budget to reflect the new amount, put a note on the calendar to call to see if the late fee could be waived, put another note on the calendar to check for mortgage payment amount adjustments monthly, and mentally yelled at myself up one side and down the other for not reading all my mail!

This morning, as I was praying, I was praising God for letting me catch it so quickly. Then my thoughts turned to all the people in our lives who might also not know about this, make the same mistake, and not catch the mistake once it happened. I was especially thinking of all of our elderly parents, who could be easily confused by this. I would encourage everyone to discuss this with your families. This is also good info for our young adult kids. It would probably be wise to touch base with our elderly parents over their financial issues at least quarterly. And to all of you, my fellow multi-generational caregiving jugglers, don’t follow my bad example. As busy as we are, we need to read all our mail as we receive it, then deal with it, file it, or toss it right then. It will save us time, energy and much aggravation in the long run.

Comments 8

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  • Hi Kaye,

    Good post. Most people don’t read their mortgage paperwork and don’t realize if they miss a payment the entire balance becomes due.

    In my consumer writing, I’ve written a number of times about clutter. One tip is to sort your mail when it comes in and recycle all the mail that isn’t important. I also put the catalogs that I want in a file at the same time because I noticed that they tend to be left in stacks of things.

    I was a sandwich caregiver for a while, doing the finances for my mom, my daughter, and myself. It was challenging to keep with three sets of finances.

    Good luck.

    Rita

    My blog is The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide at http://boomersurvive-thriveguide.typepad.com.

  • Hi Rita, Thanks for popping by. WOW! That’s good info to know about the mortgage! The part I was most irritated at was that I really do know better. But it’s always nice when I can take one of my mistakes and turn it into something useful for all of us 🙂

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