If I'm going to pay for an Italian trip, it's going to be my own...
I have a secondary source of income that I get two times a year, but I don't include it in my budget forecast. Firstly, because the source is technically in my mother's name and she has every right to withdraw it, secondly because it's nice to have the windfall.
A couple days after I booked the opera tickets, my mother called up to let me know she's put the check in the mail and told me the amount. It's enough to pay for the trip and still file a little away into long term savings.
I adhere to the basics of Dave Ramsey's personal finance advice (though I think he's an idiot when it comes to government finance and politics in general). Because of this, I don't use my credit card more than I have to. Booking trips are one of those times.
So I find a great deal on a flight and book it. This makes me recall that I should check that my tuition for the Banff Centre has come through*.
When I log into my bank, I see two charges from something I don't recognize; it's charged in Euros and has the word "ROMA" in the name. It's late at night, so the fraud department for my card is closed, but I call them first thing in the morning. Turns out it's indeed a transport company in Italy. They told me the card would be cancelled, a new one would be issued to me and they would investigate.
I let them know that the Expedia/airline charges (posted to their system but not to my bank's website) are legitimate, so I do hope that my flights will be booked without a problem. I've got all the usual emails/confirmation numbers and Expedia still have the itinerary listed as "confirmed". Once I have my new card, I'll check the charges and if anything is wonky-looking, call Expedia.
When I logged into the bank this morning, the Italian charges were already reversed, despite Visa telling me I would need to fill out a form they would send me. When I logged in this evening the card info wasn't available -- no doubt due to the number switch in progress. So it looks like it's all fine, but I have to wait for my new card to arrive before I can book my hotel (which I just might be doing by phone instead of online).
The delay, in a way, is fine, as I'm still debating on staying at the same Mission-district B&B where I stayed last time, or stay at a chain hotel about a block from the War Memorial Opera House. Despite being more expensive, the B&B is likely to win, due to my pro-independent values, and its proximity to not one but two vegan restaurants.
* Tuition was processed early enough to be unaffected by all of this. Also, I'm getting emails from the Banff Centre instructor, Janet McNaughton, with recommended reading and author interviews to watch, all of which only encourage the conviction that I'm going to learn loads from her. I'm getting way excited.
In checking the B&B's online reservation system, I find that the room I stayed in before is booked on the 26th and 27th. There's one more that might-just-might be manageable cost-wise, but I might be looking for other independents.