How distraction almost cost me $48.75

shareasimage (4)I’m usually pretty good about paying attention at the register. I watch as the cashier rings up my order. Over the years, this has prevented me from overpaying for things. Because of Connecticut law, I have actually gotten a few grocery items for free. Well, Friday night I wasn’t paying attention and it almost cost me $48.75.

We were at Costco picking up a few things to bring to a friend’s house for dinner. There were also a few things we needed for the house and well, it’s Costco. It’s a very dangerous place to go without a list. Cereal was on sale. We also picked up some Christmas candy for the stockings (we have really big stockings!).

As we walked into the store, I remembered that I needed stamps for the Christmas cards. I grabbed the huge cardboard placard that you need to bring to the register when you buy stamps. One more thing off my to-do-list. Win!

After buying everything that we needed and a few things we didn’t, we headed to the registers. Jeff and I were talking about all the things we needed to get done and other stores we needed to go to before going home. I swiped my debit card without even looking at the total. The cashier gave me my stamps and the receipt and we were off to the next store on the list. I looked at the total: $162.56. Well, it was less than $200 and for Costco that is a huge win.

Later, as I was taking a picture of the receipt for an Ibotta rebate, I noticed I had been charged for two books of stamps. 2014-12-15 08.04.15

I was really pissed. Not at the cashier. Not at the guy at the door who checks the receipts. I was pissed at myself. I couldn’t believe I missed it. Almost $50 and I missed it. Hell, the stamps were the first thing on the receipt and I still missed it.

On Saturday, we went back to Costco and they gave me my money back. I’m pretty sure if this had happened at another store, I would have been out of luck. After all, how do you prove you didn’t receive something? I was so grateful I could have kissed the woman at customer service. So I got my $48.75 back and what did I do? Spent it at Costco! Well, at least we have groceries for a while!

Has this ever happened to you? Were you able to get your money back? How do you stay focused at the register?



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  • Had that happen before. I try to look at the receipt before I leave the store but sometimes, well, I forget! Luckily I have never had a problem getting a refund. Glad you got the money back! Costco is great that way.

    • That is why I really love Costco. Plus, they take great care of their employees.

  • Hi Kristin! I’ve been wanting to mention that your 28 budget was a great tool for me. I get paid in that cycle (though my husband is bi-monthly) but it still help present a better picture of flow and opportunities to realize surplus.

    I do have a question (not sure if it’s worthy of a blog topic). Do you ever find yourself reluctant to let go of the savings you have available because you’d like to see that number grow (maybe as much as you want to see others go down). For instance….in the months that we have an unexpected expense, I tend to just try to absorb the extra expenses without hitting our emerg fund (or other cash funds) I try to cut back the existing budget and most of the times I know when it makes sense to do that vs pulling out some saving, but other times I end up cutting it close on fixed expenses and then I end up moving money out of the emerg savings anyway. I’m not sure if I’m making sense…but it’s like this fixation of NOT touching an emerg fund (or our “household” acct — for minor but not typical expenses). I’m not sure what is better from a mental standpoint, lol. We have savings for just those things, but it makes me sad to use it….vs. try to get by and absorb the expense and feel dumb when I have to transfer $ anyway.

    Hope this makes some kind of sense!

    • Eileen,

      I’m so glad the 28 day budget is working for you. I love your question and will be writing a post about it for tomorrow’s update. I’ll post the link here when it’s live.