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This past week has been a little bit trying because several hundred dollars were stolen from my Paypal account.  I have been back and forth denying transactions and talking to my bank to get NSF fees covered.  Paypal has been slightly helpful.  They have followed their procedures and even credited me back some NSF fees that my bank would not cover.   Although I did have to go through several channels and be slightly persistent to get this done.

I did not yell and scream and cuss at them.  I was calm and polite and I do feel like you can get more done this way.  Paypal offered to cover some of my fees, but I did not feel like I should have to pay any of it – even $7.00.  I had to speak to a manager and Dmitri from Nebraska, but I have finally got back most of my money.  We are still waiting on another $100 so we will see when that happens.

Meanwhile I have had NO access to my bank account because it was overdrawn.  I should say this is a small account that we keep for online purchases and such (not anymore!).  Here are a few lessons I learned from this situation:

1.  Always keep an “emergency” envelope of cash stashed somewhere so if you HAD to have groceries and you could not get to your bank account.  I know most of you do this, but it was a reminder to us.

2.  Call all of your financial institutions and find out what their policy is when your bank card is stolen or when your account number is stolen.  Find out if you will have access to your money and what is involved when this happens.

3.  Paypal advised me to have a credit card as my funding source instead of a bank account.  The reason for this is that your credit card will likely be resolved before the next bill comes due and you will still have access to your money.  We don’t use credit cards on a day-to-day basis (see Dave Ramsey), but we do have them (sorry Dave).  I don’t really feel comfortable at this stage of the game dealing with Paypal at all so I will probably be closing my account so I won’t really have to worrly about this.

I have decided that for now, if I buy something from Ebay I will be using a money order if that is possible or I won’t buy from Ebay.  I am not sure that I will be making many online purchases anymore.  I really do like Amazon though and I also buy from them a lot.

The ironic thing about this is that we did open this little account specifically to buy online things (smart thinking Mr. Extraordinary).

I am really rethinking buying online and I am really rethinking where we should keep our  money.

How about you?  Do you have any advice or has this ever happened to you?

For more Frugal Friday money tips, visit Life as a Mom.

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