One Financial Mistake to Avoid

I’ve been thinking about money A LOT and it had me cruising down memory lane.  This one time (Do you like how all of my stories start out like that?) I was in Milan for work (Remember when I worked at the PR firm in NYC and pretended like I was in Sex in the City?) during design week and I did something REALLY STUPID.


Design week is like the fashion week for the furniture world and although it might not sound exciting, it is bonkers, dazzling and exhausting.  If you are going as a spectator...tons of fun. You’re drinking cappuccinos at the cafe, meandering through beautiful exhibits and tossing back prosecco at launch parties.


If you are working design week...It looks more like: down a coffee at a 7am breakfast, see 20 editors a day at the exhibit, run to an event, change in the bathroom, shove a piece of prosciutto in your mouth behind the scenes, run the list at the door staring at all of the beautiful people, finally get to dinner at 10pm and PRAY the group starts to eat a little faster...they don’t, and so you get home at 2am and then repeat it the next day.  IT. IS. EXHAUSTING. BUT, it’s also pretty badass.


Normally when I travel internationally, I leave some key things in the safe at the hotel:

  1. My passport

  2. Most of my cash

  3. Any credit card besides the one I need

For some reason on this trip, I decided to not do any of that. I’m not sure why. Perhaps I had crazy jet lag (Wait for it...that actually wasn’t the stupid part).


At the exhibit, I had my purse in the “secure” client area. After a ton of editor appointments I was SO HUNGRY and went to get my purse to go buy some wallet wasn’t there.  WHAT.THE.EFF.  I’m in Italy, halfway through my trip….and my wallet is gone.


You know when something happens and you’re like, “where do I even start!?” and you somehow figure it out?  Yeah...getting your wallet stolen in a foreign country would be one of those times. The good part? They left my passport. WHEW!


I tell my client. I tell my boss and I get on the phone with my husband in Denver (WHICH, WAS THE MOST EXPENSIVE PHONE CALL EVER).  I get my credit card phone numbers and account info from him and start calling my cards.


THIS is when I realized I did something REAL stupid.  I had just gotten a new business bank card (I was a contractor) and I hadn’t yet memorized the pin number… see it coming...YUP, totally had the pin number not only IN my wallet, but NEXT to the card. I.AM.AN.IDIOT.   


In the span of 20 minutes, the thief pulled out over $500 euros out of my bank account (um...NOT a good exchange rate...that was MUCH MORE than $500 us dollars), charged $500 on another card and they TRIED to charge things on my AMEX, but they knew what was up.  


What the heck is the point of this story you ask? I have made a lot of stupid mistakes with my money and my finances, but I RARELY make the same mistake twice.  And all of my mistakes have built a great foundation for learning.


So as we head into our free budgeting class and our 90 Day No Shopping Challenges, just remember that your mistakes don’t DEFINE you, they help BUILD you.  


Have a kickass Monday

Livin’ & Lovin’



PS. I had to borrow money from my boss to get home to the US. I had parked in the more expensive lot at the airport and she was kinda appalled at how much money I asked for. I miscalculate my money on my way home and THOUGHT I had enough money for a cheeseburger at the airport. When I got back to Denver...I realized my math skills were NOT up to par and I was short a few dollars, which I realized at the parking lot exit.  Insert me on the hunt of a lifetime to find enough change in every crack and cubby in my car. LESSON: I don’t park in that expensive lot anymore. Ha!