TGIF: A Case for the Emergency $20


Remember how last week’s TGIF was an ode to the fact that travelling is oh, so not glamorous? Well, I might’ve willed a little more bad luck into my life, with that statement. Sometime between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, I lost both my debit card and credit card in Toronto. I remember using my credit card to pay for lunch for my boss and I, then emptying my pockets back at the office… and I don’t know what I did with my cards after that. I didn’t need to use them after work, at all, which is why I didn’t notice they were gone until Saturday morning. After ripping apart my purse and luggage, I knew they weren’t in my possession and I hit straight up panic mode.

Losing a debit or credit card anytime is scary, but losing both while travelling is terrifying. I had no cash on me. Maybe $3 in change, max. I was so mad at myself for losing my cards, and then all the “how am I going to pay for this or that” thoughts started to rush in. How am I going to pay for breakfast this morning? How am I going to eat at all? How am I going to get to the airport on Sunday? How am I going to pay the checked baggage fee when I check into my flight? Omg, how am I going to check out of long-term parking? I booked online and used my credit card to get into the lot! It went on like this for a while.

Fortunately, my early morning breakfast plans with Dayle actually saved the day. I didn’t want to cancel, so instead asked if she could pay and I could email her money later. She said of course. When I arrived at the restaurant, I was obviously a bit scattered, trying to think of what I was going to do… and that’s when I remembered I still had my debit card from the credit union I don’t do my daily banking with anymore (but still have a free chequing account with). “Just send yourself an email money transfer,” Dayle told me. Yes! An email money transfer! Coast Capital didn’t use to do those (they’re a little behind in the times) but now they do… and thank goodness.

Still slightly worried that the airport parking lot would charge me $$$ for not having my original credit card to check out with, I emailed $300 from one of my Tangerine accounts to my Coast Capital account, then sucked up the ATM fees and took out some cash at a bank. I then cancelled both cards and was living on cash until Wednesday afternoon (I hate cash!). When my credit card finally arrived, I had to update all my pre-authorized bill payments, etc. which was a bit of a hassle. But it’s done. Everything is fine. And I have good friends + that second debit card to thank.

This incident, coupled with the 7 hours I was stuck at LaGuardia with no cash while their credit system was down, has proven the importance of keeping an emergency $20 bill in your wallet. In fact, I think I’ll keep $20 CAD and $20 USD in there… just in case!

The low of my week was getting a hip arthrogram + MRI done. The MRI part wasn’t bad, but the hip arthrogram? I won’t describe it, in case you’re squeamish… but you can read about it here, if you’re  not. It was freaky and not very pleasant. Still, I’m glad the test was done. Results now, please.

The high of my week was having dinner with Sarah and Jess on Monday night. Individually, they are hilarious and always make me laugh. Together, I was in a fit. I’m glad Jess is in town for an extended period of time, so we can repeat that once more!

A blog post I loved was Why the Woods by Frugalwoods. Lately, I’ve spent too much time worrying that the life I want doesn’t match with what our society says is “normal”. This post was a good reminder that I need to trust my gut and do what aligns with my values.

The best money I spent was $30 on two tickets to the Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Gardens. I wanted to go last year, but no one seemed interested. This year, I decided to take matters into my own hands, by purchasing two tickets and telling my friend Kasey we were going!

My plans this weekend include going to my old job’s Christmas party tonight, having afternoon tea at the house with our extended family tomorrow, Skyping with Gail on Sunday and probably helping Mom finish some last-minute shopping.

Only 6 sleeps until Christmas! Are you ready? And what are you up to this weekend?

Flickr: nayukim