Accidental Credit Card Cash Advance


I have a mission – be debt-free by 2017. For months I have been steadily paying off my credit card. And by my calculations in the next three months the repayments will be completed. Once it is all paid off, bye bye Scotia, goodbye MasterCard. I am cancelling that card. This is something I truly long for.

So last week when I got paid,  I signed into Scotia Jamaica online to pay my credit card bill. I transferred cash from my account to the credit card. After confirming the transaction, I noticed that my electronic access account balance had increased.

I panicked.

I called Scotia Jamaica customer care immediately.

The rep apologised and said that the redesigned online system has caused this mistake to happen to others. I accidentally transferred money from the credit card to my primary account. I gave myself a credit card cash advance.

The Scotiabank customer service rep instructed me to transfer the money back to the credit card, and then make the payment in the regular way. So I did this.

When I signed back into the online system I saw that the “to” and “from” buttons on the website were re-positioned. I was livid. Why make this switch in the positions when something like this is likely to happen. It made no sense. A redesigned layout for functionality and aesthetics is fine, but, the swapping of these two elemental fields make a major difference in how customers make transactions.

I don’t have an ending for this particular story (as yet). I was assured by the customer service representative that I will not be charged interest in the transaction or any other fees related to the cash advance. But I have to wait and see my statement next month before I am certain about that.

Now here is what is a little strange about this experience, two weeks ago when I was considering blog topics to explore, I made a rough draft of a post schedule for the remainder of September and for October and initially I wrote “Budgeting Advice” for today’s discussion and reflection. And beside the topic, I added the notation, ‘do I dare??”

So why was I hesitant? Well, I am still in debt. So much has improved in the last few months but there is still so much more to accomplish. Am I qualified in any way to give budgeting advice? I mean, I did complete FutureLearn’s Managing My Money Personal Finance Course in July, and, I passed the class with an 83% average. But sadly, no, I am not qualified to give money advice to anyone. One day, I hope to be financially secure, money literate and investment savvy. And only then, I will attempt to share money management tips.

Until, that day comes around, I do think I can only share my failures. Here are some budgeting and money management don’ts, these are the things I did wrong, and I hope no one else has these experiences.

  1. Own multiple credit cards.
  2. Max out these cards.
  3. Only pay the minimum on credit cards.
  4. Never read credit card statements.
  5. Spend indiscriminately.
  6. Constantly dip into savings.
  7. Never make or stick to a budget.
  8. Say yes to spending/giving loans/going out when no should be the answer.
  9. Not planning and saving for major life purchases.
  10. Making random impulse purchases over and over again.

I think that’s it, those are all the messed up money mistakes I made over the years. I am a recovering spendthrift. I hope no one else in our My Jamaican Vignettes community is making these mistakes. If you are, please stop.  Reconsider why you are spending more than you have and get to the root of the imbalance and realign.

Have a blessed and frugal week,



Lately I have been considering self-worth. How much am I worth? This consideration moves beyond intrinsic values and perceptions and beliefs about my character, it also encompasses my financial net worth. How much should I be paid for services? In May into June of this year, I have experienced job interviews and job applications and salary negotiations and questionnaires that required me to answer this question. How much am I worth? And for the first time since I have been working as a professional researcher and writer, I was confident in offering a figure for how much I am worth. This felt good. This self-awareness of my value as a worker and what I have to offer took me some time to achieve but I am grateful for the journey and I am happy with where I am now.


Placing a monetary value on my work as a writer, researcher, content creator and editor has often made me uncomfortable. In the past, I have been more than willing to allow whomever I was going to be working with, make me an offer, rather for me to initiate any conversation about compensation. And then of course, I never negotiated. I simply said “thank you” and started the project.  Looking back I can clearly see where this has not served my best interest. I can recall quite a few freelance writing and research projects that have taken far more of my time and resources than I have been paid for. Essentially, I worked for less than I am valued.

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Learn. Grow. Give.

We are blessed to live in a world where sharing is natural and easy. Through a wide array of online platforms and social media sites we are able to connect with and learn from each other. One of the most beautiful aspects of the world of sharing is the seemingly endless options of learning new tricks, skills and engaging with new ideas.


A quick Google search will offer thousands of options on how-to do just about anything and this is something I truly love about this world I am blessed to be in. There is amazing potential to learn and grow and do so for free.  Continue reading