Lessons from a lost ATM card

Lessons from a lost ATM card: redundancy and diversification, prior knowledge and past performance, prevention and due diligence.
Some time ago, I looked at my wallet and noticed my ATM card was missing. Everything else was there (including my payroll ATM), so I thought nothing of it. When I looked through my stuff, I realized it really was missing.

Then I remembered that the day before I had used it at a nearby ATM to make a deposit. I realized that I must have forgotten to retrieve my card from the machine.

I went to the bank branch of the machine and told them my dilemma. Unfortunately they had not found the card and no one had surrendered it to them. In the end, I opted to just have it blocked and get a replacement card.

All throughout I was not alarmed, since I was accessing my account online and there was no suspicious transaction. But afterwards, I realized it could have been much worse.

If I did not have online access, I might have been very worried. And if I did not remember what I had done with it, I might have thought someone had stolen it. It might have prompted me to needlessly suspect someone or become paranoid.

And despite it being practically a "non-event", I thought it was an important lesson for me.

By having both online and ATM access to my account I was inadvertently practicing Redundancy - duplicating a critical function to ensure reliability. In this case, it ensured I had access to my account despite losing my ATM card. In fact, I was able to check my account and even transfer money to a different account that same day despite not having my ATM.

And by remembering what I had done the previous day, it reaffirmed the importance of being aware of my actions and how knowledge of past events can influence current and future actions.

Of course, the best lesson might simply be the old idiom: Prevention is better than cure. Had I just been careful to check for my ATM, I would not have had to spend 100 pesos on a replacement card.

And when investing, these habits can be very useful.

We can't put all our eggs in one basket. If we want to pursue financial freedom, we have to be prepared with an emergency fund, and spread our money in different investment vehicles.

By being aware of our previous actions, we can learn from them and avoid making the same mistakes.

And by practicing due diligence, we minimize the risk of throwing money in an unworthy investment.

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photo credit: webzer via photopin cc

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