Aside from debt, assumption is the biggest enemy (and ISIS, ISIS is also the enemy). As a 5th grade math teacher once taught Dylan, when you assume you make an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me', that may have been the only thing that stuck from 5th grade math. It's totally true, assuming can get you in all sorts of trouble in life and the same is true when you're in snowball/debt-murdering mode. We would like to take you through a couple examples of recent times when we assumed and paid the price (literally).
That time we accidentally spent $60 on a shitty buffet
We like a deal when it comes to food. If we're eating out we split the special, we participate in taco Tuesdays, we use coupons. Sometimes though life takes the drivers seat and you start letting those things slip. On one such occasion we decided it would be worthwhile to go to a Japanese buffet. We hadn't been to a buffet since our gross days in college and thought this would be a fun experience in which we could gorge ourselves on crap and pay $6.99 a piece for it.
In college the Chinese buffet was a staple. We would load up a bunch of people in the car (a couple TMS members were involved in those days!) and eat until we couldn't move. It was the perfect way for us poor college kids to get massive amounts of food for less than the price of a movie ticket. With that in mind we wanted to relive those glory days not realizing the massive difference between a Chinese buffet and a Japanese buffet.
What's the difference? Besides massive cultural differences which we were too ignorant at the time to think about, I would say the biggest difference is about $50. After barely enjoying a plate and a half (buffets are much more sad now then they were in college) we politely asked for our check only to find out that our plate and a half adventure had just cost us $30 each! We were shocked, confused and pissed. Keri, being a natural leader, took control and walked with the check up to the front counter to ask why we were being charged so much. It was the dinner price, not the lunch price which was listed on a chalkboard at the entrance, but the dinner price.
We assumed and we were wrong, and we paid for it. Both out of our wallets and through our guts later on that night.
That time Dylan was charged a late fee
Technology is amazing. It can unite people for change, around a cause or have us discussing the differences between a blue and black or a white and gold dress. It's amazing. We use it to monitor our expenses, pay bills and sometimes that can make you lazy.
We use automatic bill payment for almost all of our bills. It's just so much easier to 'set it and forget it', hey that's catchy! But after a frantic series of texts from Dylan's Mom stating that a student loan collection agency had been harassing her on the phone claiming that Dylan's account was delinquent we realized the machine was broken.
Dylan called them to find out what in the fudge was going on. When he finally got a real, live, actual human voice they let him know that his account was in fact delinquent. We assumed that the machine was working, but what we didn't check on was whether we needed to adjust the payments based on an ever increasing interest rate. It is worth mentioning at this point that the past due amount was on $0.20, which is still infuriating. The woman on the phone told Dylan that there was also a late fee charged on the account because of the $0.20 past due, because student loan people are really chill and not at all garbage monster preying on the weak in their biggest time of need.
We assumed and we were wrong, and we were luckily able to catch it and get it fixed before it ruined our credit and before we were charge a ridiculous fee.
A lot of things can happen when you make assumptions about your finances and it's so important to be vigilant. One assumption we have to come to terms with is that we will both have jobs in the future. We are reaching a point right now where our savings is slowly disappearing and we have to make a tough decision in the coming weeks whether we cut back on the snowball and start putting more money into our savings or assume we will continue working and eventually pay off all the debt before we start building up our savings. We haven't made any headway on that decision yet, we are currently weight pros and cons - more to come later.