I went out to Pasadena to speak on healthy money, sit and answer questions, and give two workshops about a month ago now. I did this as service, with no payment, but my travel expenses were paid by the hosting organization.
Some of the airfare was paid in advance, as was my hotel bill. But I covered ground transportation and part of the airfare out of pocket, to be reimbursed at the end of the conference. These came to a few hundred dollars. The coordinator was ready to reimburse me on the spot, but I told her I didn’t know the exact amount, the receipts were in my already packed bag, and that I would make a PDF copy of them when I got back home and send it out to her as an email attachment.
Twice, she’s written to me over the past month, expressing her happy willingness to reimburse me.
And I have kept putting off the simple act of laying out the receipts on the glass of my flatbed scanner and creating a document that I could attach to a simple one or two sentence email, and get those few hundred dollars back into my pocket immediately. (We both use PayPal.)
Active debtors and underearners are notorious for not asking for reimbursement of their expenses, failing to file insurance forms that will bring them back sometimes even thousands of dollars, and—when self-employed—even for not sending out invoices to clients for work already completed, for months sometimes, in extreme cases not ever, out of embarrassment over for the amount of time that has passed.
Now, I haven’t incurred a dollar’s worth of new unsecured debt in nearly 30 years and I’m also the guy who wrote the book on how to overcome underearning.
But here I am, all these years later, still putting off a couple of simple acts that will take me 10 minutes at the most and probably closer to 5 that will increase my net worth by a few hundred dollars almost by return email.
I’m gong to do this before I go to bed tonight, shaking my head as I am at myself at the moment.
Old habits die hard sometimes. Very hard.