Lack Of Organization Can Cost You Money

organizational tips, organizational skills, being organized
I’m usually a very organized person, but every once in a while my skills fail me. This was the case recently, and it just about cost me some money.

We recently purchased some things we needed for some home improvement projects at a local hardware store. We were delighted to find out from the person at the checkout that they were running an 11% rebate promotion. All we had to do was fill out the form printed out with the receipt, mail it in, and we would receive a check for 11%.

Sounded like a great deal to us. The completed form was in the mail the next day.


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A couple of weeks later, the rebate check for $11.15 showed up in the mail. I put it, along with another check, under my wallet on my dresser to remind me to deposit both of them the next day. When I went to the bank the next day, however, the bank teller looked at it funny for a few seconds, then informed me that it wasn’t a cashable check.

It was actually a merchandise credit.

I shrugged my shoulders, and took the check back. It wasn’t a big deal, I’m sure I just forgot that was what we were actually getting. Besides, we shop at the hardware store often, so it wasn’t like we were in danger of not using it.

Normally, when I got back home, I would have put the merchandise into a specific plastic holder on our fridge with other coupons. Whenever we go shopping, we scan through the coupon holder looking for things we can use. This was the logical place to put it, but unfortunately for me, I didn’t.

Over the weekend, my charcoal starter chimney finally fell apart after 10 years of use. I naturally thought of using the merchandise credit to get a new one at the hardware store. Since I hadn’t put it in the coupon holder as I normally do, I couldn’t find it.

I ripped our house apart for over an hour looking for it.

Finally, it came to me where I had put it. I had gone to the bank on my way home from work, so when they couldn’t cash it, the only other logical place for it to be would be inside the zipper of my laptop bag. I flew down the stairs, unzipped the outer pocket, reached in my hand and pulled out the crisp piece of cardboard.

I love to be organized. I have a need for everything to be in its place, and to have a place for everything. When I fail to put things where I feel they should be, something breaks down the line somewhere. I also have a need to get the absolute most out of my money.

This situation was a double fail.

Not only could I not remember where I put the check, but had I not found it, I would essentially flushed $11.15 down the drain. I realize it’s not a huge amount of money, but it’s the principle of making the most of what I have.

Have you ever lost a rebate check? Did you find it again? What’s the largest amount that you’ve lost?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

About the author

Brock Kernin


  • I seriously cannot stand to look for something that I’ve misplaced, but unfortunately we’ve fallen victim to laziness lately and have put something elsewhere instead of where it’s supposed to go. As a result, we’ve spent far too much time looking for things. Time to stay organized!

  • @Daisy – I agree…it drives me NUTS when I cannot find something. Mostly because everything *should* be in it’s place. when it’s not, it’s almost always my own fault…but it takes me forever to remember what I did with the missing item. Torture!

  • I freak out when I am missing ANYTHING. Even a simple item like a shirt has me going crazy. I like to keep my room as clean as possible all the time because once the mess starts building up, it gets so large that I end up losing something.

  • I can totally feel you. I also like to be organized and make sure I can find my stuff when I look for it. It just bothers me if I can find it. I can spend hours looking for it, no matter how trivial the item is.

  • @Alexis – Oooh, the lost shirt – I’ve been there! I want a specific shirt but can’t find it in the closet, the hamper, in the washer…nowhere to be found. Of course usually it’s hanging in the closet, I was just looking in too much of a hurry to see it. 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  • @Suburbanfinance – I agree…and for me it’s not just MY’s everybody’s stuff in the family. So, whenever someone can’t find something they come ask Dad where it is….most of the time I know exactly where they can find it. 🙂

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