Friday, May 21, 2010

No matter how frugal you are...sometimes you just can't avoid it.

This edition of Frugal Friday is dedicated to those *wonderful services that you can't live without and only use in emergency type situations.

*And by wonderful I of course mean annoying, dishonest, highway robbery types of things.

No, this was not my originial Frugal Friday post for today. Was it spurred by an incident? Why of course it was. After the school assembly this morning I was wrestling the small one into his seat {it has been quite a wrestle lately} with my keys in my hand. I must have hit the button by accident {and not heard the beep due to the screeching} because I got him in, threw my purse and keys on the front seat, shut both doors and went to get in on my side...CRAP! Totally locked everything in. Keys, cell phone, toddler. Everything. In that second a wave of panic comes on. My only frugal tip here is to take a breath and calm down. What are your options? Where are you? Far from home? Do you have a spare set of keys? Anyone you can call to help you? Quickly review all the free options in your head and execute your plan of action. My plan of action consisted of my Hubs being out of town and nobody having a spare key to my house which is 5 minutes from the school. Sigh. I ran into the school to call a tow truck. The dispatcher said it would be not even 10 minutes {I was a tad agitated by then and was blunt. If you can't get here NOW don't bother as I had a baby in the van}. She assured me they would be quick. Over 15 minutes later this dude comes rolling up and sloooowly gets out of his truck. Are you kidding me? By this time my little man is screaming blue bloody murder even with me making goofy faces at him which 10 minutes ago was making him laugh. I politely made the impatient face {can you do that politely?} and he got on with business. All of 23 seconds later the van was open. And then I braced myself, for I knew what was coming. That will be $36.75. Wow. I am certainly in the wrong darn business. I knew it wouldn't be cheap. I knew it would make me mad. Maybe if the dude looked like this:
it would have been a little easier to handle. So I already have steam coming out of my ears as I hand him my credit card and he has the audacity to say "If you have cash I could cut you a deal." Oh have no idea what you just did. You just annoyed the dragon. And you are crunchy and delicious with ketchup. Don't rob me blind {Completely a dishonest business practise if you ask me} and then on top of it try to get me to actually break the law and rip off the company you work for. I gave him a firm set down about what I thought of that and he quickly did up the paperwork.
Now don't get me wrong...I am not a person who thinks every service in the world should be free. People have businesses...they need to make money. I am all for that. But what I am against is the type of services who prey on people's desperation. I dsperately needed to get my son out of a locked van. $36.75. You desperately need to fix your vehicle so you can get to work. It goes on the 12% credit card. You desperately need your pay cheque early so you can feed your children. Pay day loan places charge as much as 30% interest {or more}. Some things we can't avoid. Break downs, furnace issues, etc. But we can try to be smart about them. If you find a cycle of these things happening, try to break that cycle of paying more than you have to. Ask yourself "Is this really an emergency or do I just think it's an emergency? Baby locked in van...emergency. Furnace explodes in the middle of winter...emergency. Sally's birthday party isn't big enough, let's rent a band...not an emergency. New scrapbook supplies...not an emergency. Do you see where I am going with this? There is a definite line between needs and wants and we have to be honest with ourselves. Institute one or two frugal tips per week to stretch those actual pay cheque dollars so you don't have to go for that payday loan. Take $20 per cheque and put it away so you have a small fund set aside for emergencies. Ideally, you should be saving 10% of your wage for such emergencies. But really, when you are starting out to try to get things on track $20 is plenty. You won't miss it. Because really, don't we spend $20 per cheque on silly things you can't even remember the next week? Yes we do. So beat yourself to the punch and put it away before you give it to Starbucks. You'll thank me for it later.


Anonymous said...

{{{HUGS}}} Been there and done that with my grandchild. I know how you feel.


Sheryl said...

I think you went toooo far with the whole "New scrapbook supplies...not an emergency" I'm pretty sure they could be classified as necessities, well Tim Holtz stuff anyways. :) :)

Mrs. Wizzle said...

CAA is worth every penny for stuff like that. Flat tires, locking keys in cars etc. One flat fee per year.