A Sad Surprise
Spiral Up, Not Down
Get to the point where you're net-positive and pay your debts off as soon as possible.
Do not get into situations where you will owe more money than you even have.
Do the math when it comes to borrowing, and be extremely cautious of anything that says "variable interest rate".
Learn From Your Mistakes
Look For The Deeper Problems and Consider Multiple Solutions
Maybe though, I'm the the kind of person who doesn't check my email much so I'd rather have an automatic text message sent out.
Or maybe the real problem that I'm too lazy / don't have the time and energy to login and pay it, or just that when I see the alerts I'm always distracted doing other things at the time and end up forgetting about it again! In that, I could setup auto-payments and make a note to monitor my account for suspicious charges every few months (this is what I actually decided to do 😉).
The key takeaway here is that you should be creative when thinking about how you can solve the problem and pondering what behaviors you are doing and factors from the environment around you that are leading to these situations occurring.
Rather than going with the first solution you think of, try to play devil's advocate and think of the cons as well as the pros. This may inspire an even better solution or something else you can combine with your original solution to mitigate against the cons.
Meta - Learn From Mistakes Without Making Them!
And in that same vein I'll leave you with a quote from the Roman philosopher Seneca:
“Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity"