Thursday, January 19, 2017

Contemplation on a Debit Card Transaction

The other day I had a little start while going through my recent credit and debit card transactions to make sure all was up to date on YNAB.

Context: I only use my two debit cards (Charles Schwab Investor and Capital One 360) for cash withdrawal, because they have no foreign transaction fees. I use my Capital One Venture credit card—as one would a debit card—for all other purchases, as it also has no foreign transaction fees (+ its points pay for free travel every couple of years). Point being that my debit cards haven't been used since I last took cash out in France/Spain this fall.

So when I saw a $10.44 charge dated January 1 on my debit card for a bar in town, I was really confused.

I wasn't even here on January 1, I was two and a half hours north with family.

Plus, I'd never used this debit card at that bar, because I only use my credit card for purchases.

I immediately disputed the transaction online—but man, what a mystery.

I still had that debit card in my wallet, so how would the bar even have had the number to charge it?

Also, the total for the charge, $10.44, was the exact same amount as a charge on my credit card from the same bar in November. Weird.

The next day I called the bar to ask if they still had details on file about the charge. The guy was super friendly, as was I, and I left my information so he could go look it up in the system and call me back.

Rolling this around in my head some more, I went up and grabbed my journal with my month calendar to see which days I had been at this bar.

And then I saw it: December 30.

I had met Emily & Liz for a drink that night, and had two pints of the day—just like the night in November (which would result in the same price). I hadn't realized how close that was to the end of the month; I remembered our get together being sometime in the middle of December. I didn't have a credit card charge for that December 30 visit, so I must have mistakenly paid with my debit card and the charge didn't post until two days later. Duh.

It all made so much sense!

But when I had first seen that charge, I'd immediately labeled it fraudulent because of two beliefs:

  1. The purchase happened the same day as the charge.
  2. I have never used my debit card at that bar.

With more evidence, I learned that both of these assumptions were false. The charge appeared two days after the purchase, and I did use my debit card at that bar on the 30th.

Now, I'll admit that this was a very specific situation, but the experience still made me wonder: What other false beliefs do I currently hold, which are blinding me from seeing the truth or the bigger picture?

Which beliefs are shaping my reality, and holding me back?

What about you? What beliefs do you hold to be true? What is your evidence? Are these beliefs shared by everyone? How does it impact your reality?
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