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THE OH SH*T BILL (and why everyone should be allowed one)

Life

THE OH SH*T BILL (and why everyone should be allowed one)

KATIE HART

It is generally accepted that people, especially young people but people, in general, make bad decisions when it comes to money. Whether it's the absurd decision to buy a ridiculously overpriced handbag or ending up with the credit card bill from hell, we've all been there at least once. But everyone makes mistakes and it's how we learn and grow and thus, the 'Oh Sh*t Bill'.

The premise of the 'Oh Sh*t bill' is that everyone is allowed one screw up which doesn't have any major consequences. It's basically a 'get out of jail free card' for real-life fiscal fuck ups.  It can be for either minor or major financial screw-ups but is usually reserved for the really big, terrifying ones. 

The history of the Oh Sh*t Bill (which will be referred to as an OSB from now on due to the fact that the star thingy is a real pain in the arse to type out repeatedly and I'm lazy) is as follows. My Dad's old boss somehow ended up in a club in Dusseldorf (I can only assume that some kind of alcohol was involved) and ended up spending all of the budgeted money for the trip. He came clean to his boss about it (presumably this was after a major freak-out the next morning) and his boss let it slide saying that everyone was allowed one 'OSB'. My Dad's boss later had the pleasure of passing on this favour when my Dad, tasked with entertaining a group of clients in Cape Town ended up putting the entire bill on the company tab, that is the entire bill...It was a lot of money. Oops.  

It should be mentioned that my father is a very smart man and is unfailingly kind. So, my OSB came about when I went on a trip to England when I was 15 or 16 (and yes I know that I'm very privileged) it was a time when more people had Blackberrys than iPhones and data roaming was a fairly new thing. I sense that many of you will probably have guessed where I'm going with this. I got back to South Africa and promptly got a text message from my carrier at the time saying something along the lines of 'Your bill is now over R11 000' or something to that effect (that's about 600 quid by the way). I actually thought it was a joke, that's how little I knew about data and data roaming. Basically, I had forgotten to switch my data roaming off. I told my parents immediately and my Mum had a minor freak out about it but ultimately recovered quickly and my Dad said it was okay and this was my OSB and was not to be repeated. 

Worth mentioning is that I love nice things and would definitely buy a Bentley and only wear Gucci given half the chance. Liking nice things is no big deal as long as you have the money to pay for said nice things. Also worth mentioning is that my parents trust me, like they really trust me. They trust me so much that I have a credit card on their account which I've had now for a few years. It is also worth mentioning that I am an idiot who is easily confused by nice handbags. I should explain...I found myself invited to the opening of the very first H&M store in South Africa and the store was opening with the launch of H&M X Balmain. This was my very first blogging event invite and I was very excited. It turns out that I cant be trusted to make good decisions with a credit card which doesn't belong to me when there are lovely, expensive designer pieces around. I wanted everything but I settled for a R3000 handbag. I didn't have enough money because I wasn't working or earning any money but this was a one time opportunity so I just used my parents' credit card. 

Needless to say, they were not happy with said purchase of overpriced handbag but I insisted on keeping the bag. This time, as I had used up my one OSB, I paid them back with some of my savings but even writing this sorry story makes me cringe. I used the bag a couple of times and then became too concerned about it getting ruined (it is suede) to take it out. It remains in my wardrobe in South Africa. I don't want to sell it because I cant get my money back but I don't use it. I was warned of this when I insisted on keeping it. I am an idiot. 

I wanted to share some of the stories of my (many) monetary fuck ups. I am not perfect, I am in fact so far from perfect that it's laughable. IF you are making these kinds of mistakes, congratulations...you are growing up and part of growing up is failing epically. We're all allowed the occasional fuck up and it's totally okay to make mistakes. 

If you've done some crazy money spending or relate even a little bit to any of these stories, let me know in the comments below 

Love, Katie