Author Topic: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?  (Read 27497 times)

MrsPete

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We have an active thread about small things you did that were money savers, but this is the opposite question:  What did you do that was wasteful? 

I did something stupid recently:  Somehow I skipped paying the January power bill.  I can't find it, so perhaps I never received it, or -- more likely -- it was lost in the house.  Perhaps thrown away or put into the tax files.  Anyway, I didn't pay it, so now I have TWO huge winter power bills . . . and a late fee. 

Bummer, but it is my own fault.  I was probably careless with the original bill, and when paying the other bills, I should have noticed that this one was missing. 

jhartt3

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2014, 06:21:40 AM »
not small but i went on a spending spree this week.  For my boat. (yeah i know not mustachian neither is half the crap i bought. 

Spent around 700 on some needed things and some stereo equipment.  Really not necessary.  but i got it all at affordable used or super discount prices.  Could have easily spent over 2k on what i got for 700.  Still 700 that wont be in savings this year.  i better hope this sound system is worth every penny.  Maybe if i play it loud enough people will pay me to turn it off.  haha. 

EngineerMum

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2014, 06:37:01 AM »
I might need someone to rule on this for me, whether this was a money waster or good mustacian spending. I attended a bike maintenance course on the weekend, which taught me some revelations - like that bikes need to be oiled! Wow. SO the course was free, but after learning how to do it, I "needed" the tools.
Instead of shopping around, I just went to the bike shop and bought a floor pump, lights, oil and a few other bits. Spent around $100 all up - but that now means I feel comfortable going for longer rides in my quest to get fit enough to start bike commuting.

jhartt3

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2014, 06:59:55 AM »
I'd say you should have shopped around.  Online that could have been had new for half the price.  B&M  Retail stores are notoriously overpriced..  could have even gotten it down to 25 bucks by being patient with CL.  Mustachian to attend a free course and increase your own personal maint. knowledge though. 

dude

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2014, 07:37:40 AM »
Dropped around $800 this weekend on vet bills for a sick cat.  Many Mustachians would consider pet ownership, for precisely this reason, to be anti-Mustachian -- so thus this would be a money waster in their eyes.  But I and my wife are suckers for animals (1 dog, 2 cats), and the benefits (happiness, health, laughter) to us of having them exceed the costs, so it's an area where I'm willing to bite the bullet, since we are otherwise doing fine as far as getting to FIRE in a reasonable amount of time.

MissStache

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2014, 07:42:01 AM »
Forgot to put away the leftovers last night after dinner!  Didn't realize it until I came downstairs this morning and saw that I'd left the big pot of pasta out on the stove all night.  Not only did I waste leftovers that could have been two lunches, but I realized it so late I didn't have time to grab something else for lunch, so now I have to buy it at work.  DOH!

Khao

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2014, 07:54:13 AM »
Bummer, but it is my own fault.  I was probably careless with the original bill, and when paying the other bills, I should have noticed that this one was missing.

Can you get your bills by e-mail? It's easier to organize (make folders for paid/unpaid bills in your email client) and it wastes less paper!

jhartt3

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2014, 07:55:17 AM »
I might need someone to rule on this for me, whether this was a money waster or good mustacian spending. I attended a bike maintenance course on the weekend, which taught me some revelations - like that bikes need to be oiled! Wow. SO the course was free, but after learning how to do it, I "needed" the tools.
Instead of shopping around, I just went to the bike shop and bought a floor pump, lights, oil and a few other bits. Spent around $100 all up - but that now means I feel comfortable going for longer rides in my quest to get fit enough to start bike commuting.

I'd live by the standard of if you feel like its unMustachian it probably is.  You know you're getting there when you question every purchase.  And you get a sick feeling in your stomach when you spend money.  I'd say i'm half way there.  A couple years ago b4 i found this site i was converting an old fridge to a kegerator for my home brews.  I knew how much it cost online around 200 bucks.  But I had been traveling alot for work and hadnt had much time at home.  So I HAD to do it that weekend(not really but that was in my head) ... so i dropped 450 at the local home brew supply store.  felt sick to my stomach for 2 or 3 days ... still makes me sick thinking about it.  I think when you get to that feeling with spending any money at all not just buying stuff you dont need thats at a marked up price  you have made it to mustachian levels. 

rocksinmyhead

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2014, 08:12:28 AM »
Forgot to put away the leftovers last night after dinner!  Didn't realize it until I came downstairs this morning and saw that I'd left the big pot of pasta out on the stove all night.  Not only did I waste leftovers that could have been two lunches, but I realized it so late I didn't have time to grab something else for lunch, so now I have to buy it at work.  DOH!

noooooo! I HATE when I do this. (yes, it has happened multiple times.) all-time WORST was when we made absolutely amazing crab cakes with a pound ($20) of fresh crabmeat from the seafood truck. the recipe made 6 so we ate 4 and put 2 in a container to save as leftovers... I for some reason then thought "hmm, I grabbed this Tupperware container out of the cupboard, guess it goes back in the cupboard!" and LEFT THE CRABCAKES IN THE CUPBOARD OVERNIGHT instead of in the fridge.

I was very close to crying actual tears.

lackofstache

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2014, 08:36:19 AM »
I might need someone to rule on this for me, whether this was a money waster or good mustacian spending. I attended a bike maintenance course on the weekend, which taught me some revelations - like that bikes need to be oiled! Wow. SO the course was free, but after learning how to do it, I "needed" the tools.
Instead of shopping around, I just went to the bike shop and bought a floor pump, lights, oil and a few other bits. Spent around $100 all up - but that now means I feel comfortable going for longer rides in my quest to get fit enough to start bike commuting.

If they give you the knowledge for free, I say don't worry about cost, buy it from them. You could take the free workshop and then buy elsewhere for cheaper, but part of mustachianism is responsibility to others, I say you did well.

dcheesi

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2014, 08:52:53 AM »
Not a big one, but I spent $6 (and a fair bit of research) on the "perfect" keychain bottle opener. I don't like any of the standard ones because they're too bulky, etc., so I found one that lays flat and also has some other useful tools built into it. But then last night I was looking for a pen, and stumbled across a promotional "dog tag" bottle opener that I got somewhere years ago, and it's absolutely perfect for my keychain... d'oh!

Dropped around $800 this weekend on vet bills for a sick cat.  Many Mustachians would consider pet ownership, for precisely this reason, to be anti-Mustachian -- so thus this would be a money waster in their eyes.  But I and my wife are suckers for animals (1 dog, 2 cats), and the benefits (happiness, health, laughter) to us of having them exceed the costs, so it's an area where I'm willing to bite the bullet, since we are otherwise doing fine as far as getting to FIRE in a reasonable amount of time.
Pets keep me sane, so any (reasonable) cost is worth it :)

NeverWasACornflakeGirl

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2014, 08:54:16 AM »
I stayed home from work today because I have a cold and instead of letting the thermostat turn the heat down to its daytime low (62), I turned it back up to the programmed "at home, awake" temp of 68.  I usually just pile on more wool sweaters and socks and blankets and even fingerless gloves if I'm working from home but today I'm just kind of miserable and even with the wool and the blanket it wasn't enough.

Trip

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2014, 09:33:25 AM »
I spent too long getting ready for work this morning, bumming around mostly.  Then bought 2 McDonald's Sausage McMuffin's with Egg  on the the way to work because I didn't eat breakfast at home...face punches welcome...

lizzzi

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2014, 10:50:22 AM »
Needed three copies of a deceased brother's death certificate so surviving beneficiary siblings and I can access deceased mother's annuity cash-value. (Ridiculous investment, but that's for another thread.) Knew that uncertified copies were acceptable--so ordered one certified copy from Vital Records, and then…doh, Facepunch, brain-dead--ordered another two at $25 each instead of just ordering one copy and taking it down to the UPS store for cheap copying. (I can't do legal size at home.) Dumb, dumber, dumbest.

jscott2135

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2014, 03:34:52 PM »
I spent $13 on fish tacos for lunch?  Wait, can I at least argue that these fish tacos are so insanely good that I get a tear in my eye when I finish?  That has to at least take it down from insanely stupid to just moderately ambivalent towards my future financial goals right?

Oh also I'm seriously considering signing up for yoga classes at a local studio.  Not because I'm incapable of doing yoga at home but because I have a 1 yr old and 2 yr old and am pretty sure I'm close to understanding why some species eat their young.  Fairly certain that's not legal in Oregon...I think its assisted suicide we're into here....I need a break.

Paul der Krake

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2014, 05:02:58 PM »
Regarding leftovers, how warm are your houses? If I'm going to eat leftover pasta the following day, I don't even bother putting it in the fridge. Unless it's something like seafood, is it really risky to eat food that hasn't been refrigerated for < 24 hours?

Bookworm

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2014, 05:03:31 PM »
We bought an $8 leather steering wheel cover because the worn off rubber bits on my car's steering wheel felt funny to my fingers.  It smells amazing and luxurious and I'm ridiculously satisfied that this purchase has made my 12-year-old Saturn feel like a new Lexus. :)

ruthiegirl

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2014, 05:19:35 PM »
I drove around aimlessly with my screaming toddler till he fell asleep.  Drove home, parked, and took a nap with him. 

I would feel guilty, but damn, some days are just hard. 

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2014, 05:25:53 PM »
Procrastinated too long on a work project and ended up having to drive about 35 miles round trip to deliver something in the middle of the day. This is about twice my daily commute. Small price (maybe $3.50 in gas) but very foolish and un-mustachian.

Zaga

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2014, 06:54:28 PM »
I didn't plan well this week and have bought lunch at work 3 out of 4 days so far.  Yuck!

Tempe

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2014, 07:00:47 PM »
Forgot to put away the leftovers last night after dinner!  Didn't realize it until I came downstairs this morning and saw that I'd left the big pot of pasta out on the stove all night.  Not only did I waste leftovers that could have been two lunches, but I realized it so late I didn't have time to grab something else for lunch, so now I have to buy it at work.  DOH!

noooooo! I HATE when I do this. (yes, it has happened multiple times.) all-time WORST was when we made absolutely amazing crab cakes with a pound ($20) of fresh crabmeat from the seafood truck. the recipe made 6 so we ate 4 and put 2 in a container to save as leftovers... I for some reason then thought "hmm, I grabbed this Tupperware container out of the cupboard, guess it goes back in the cupboard!" and LEFT THE CRABCAKES IN THE CUPBOARD OVERNIGHT instead of in the fridge.

I was very close to crying actual tears.
I hate this so much as well. I once left 3 pounds of chicken in a pan and fell asleep and forgot about putting it away. I walked downstairs and stared at it in disbelief. I did buy it on sale, but I made it with rice and it was so delicious, and then all my leftover plans went down into the garbage. I am terrible remembering to put things away sometimes. I nearly left my pasta out last night and as I was falling asleep I remembered it and saved it. It is easier at my new place because it is a 1 bedroom apartment so I am more likely to see the food out.

Rural

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2014, 07:23:59 PM »
Nothing today, but after working twelve hours on Monday, I called my husband and asked him to pick up takeout from the local Mexican place. Today I worked ten hours and came home and cooked despite not having carved out time to meal plan or shop last weekend, so I'm considering it my atonement.

Hmm. Looking back at that, I think my real thing is not so small. I'm working too long for too little reward and forgetting to have a life, too. Time to start saying "no" more often.

darkadams00

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2014, 07:37:01 PM »
Slept in and bought $3 breakfast at work instead of eating at home for $1. It cost me 50 push-ups (25 push-ups/$1, kind of like a "Swearing Jar"). Glad I didn't go boat accessorizing like the previous poster. I wouldn't be able to type! :)

luigi49

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2014, 07:58:36 PM »
Well, I rolled on a stop sign but I could have sworn I stopped.  Red and blue lights behind me.  I am expecting a $300 fine but officer gave me a warning.   Its been a while since I got a ticket.  WHEW $300

lizzzi

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2014, 08:25:07 PM »
"Forgot to put away leftovers…"  I believe the rule is that food can be left out for two hours at room temperature, and after that, it must be covered and refrigerated at between 36--46 degrees Fahrenheit.

horsepoor

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2014, 09:25:11 PM »
Regarding leftovers, how warm are your houses? If I'm going to eat leftover pasta the following day, I don't even bother putting it in the fridge. Unless it's something like seafood, is it really risky to eat food that hasn't been refrigerated for < 24 hours?

Honestly?  In the winter, it's 58 at night in our house.  If it was say, a fully cooked chicken, I would probably boil the crap out of it in a soup and eat it.  If it was during the summer, mid to upper 70's inside, I'd probably chuck the food.

If vegetarian food, again, I'd probably just get it good and hot all the way through and go ahead and eat it.  Crab cakes?  Probably not, though I'm not sure why seafood always seems a little iffier/more delicate in the food poisoning department.

galliver

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2014, 11:22:10 PM »
Today, stayed home to wait for UPS guy delivering new computer. Realized at 4:30-5 that I would much much rather do a task on my office computer with a 24" screen and went in. Except I'd had a headache all day so I needed coffee. And I've been feeling pressured/stressed to no end this week, so I got a consolation pastry too... >_>

Earlier this week, bought a $400 computer I didn't strictly *need*. But I've been thinking about this for a year or two, and my only computer is a 5yo+ laptop (which I'm keeping for when I need the mobility, hopefully for a while yet!)

Osprey

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2014, 12:07:01 AM »
Ooh, ok. How about this: I didn't claim for overtime last month because I hate admin. Now it's too late. :(

MustachianAccountant

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2014, 08:09:27 AM »
I bought a Hostess Pie from the vending machine at work.
Unhealthy AND a money waster! Twofer!

adesertsky

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2014, 08:13:00 AM »
Starbucks for breakfast. A+ WIN!

Me too AND I didn't have time (or, didn't MAKE time) to make a lunch so I'm buying that, too.  Whoops.

irononmaiden

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2014, 08:44:17 AM »
I've been dicking around reading about ER instead of racking up freelance hours.

jhartt3

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2014, 09:03:54 AM »
agree with the left out food thing.  i'm young and my body can take alot.  in the winter with my house at 61 degrees.  i dont care about leaving something out overnight.  My wife wont eat it but i havent had any issues. 

nereo

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #32 on: April 01, 2014, 02:09:12 PM »
UGH - I returned two library books late - $10 fee.  Facepunch!
oh well, at least the money goes towards something I support.

wealthviahealth

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #33 on: April 01, 2014, 02:14:23 PM »
Bought mixed nuts in work vending machine for a snack.
I usually never do this but I suppose its what I get for not packing a large enough lunch and for carrying cash on me. I find cash much easier to spend than debit/credit.

Norrie

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #34 on: April 01, 2014, 02:30:53 PM »
Forgot to bring my leftovers for lunch, and ended up getting the most over-priced yet delicious smoothie and kale salad ever. Not only did I hate spending the money, but I also am not a fan of having to go anywhere during my lunch hour. Won't make that mistake again any time soon. On the plus side, the food was awesome.

Threshkin

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #35 on: April 01, 2014, 04:06:05 PM »
UGH - I returned two library books late - $10 fee.  Facepunch!
oh well, at least the money goes towards something I support.

Ouch!  That is a nasty high late charge.  Ours is five cents per day or twenty five cents for high demand books and DVDs.  It would take me a long time to get up to a $10 fine.  Even so I hate paying late fees. 

szmaine

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #36 on: April 01, 2014, 04:13:38 PM »
I turned up the thermostat to warm up the house when I got home instead of getting a fire going in the wood stove because I was cold, tired and lazy. After the house was warm THEN I built a fire.

libertarian4321

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #37 on: April 01, 2014, 04:38:06 PM »
I bought engine coolant at full price rather than waiting for a sale.

I panicked when the "low coolant" light flashed and went into the nearest gas station, where I knew the cost would be high.

mc6

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #38 on: April 01, 2014, 04:52:10 PM »
Purchased a get well card for a jerk of a coworker, for colleagues to sign. 

ender

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #39 on: April 01, 2014, 04:52:50 PM »
Some people really like buying certain things.

My thing is keyboards and mice. I spent another $60 on a keyboard the other day - this one hopefully is good :)

I swear I will find the perfect keyboard eventually :)

tmac

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #40 on: April 01, 2014, 05:05:11 PM »
I bought $20 of unnecessary cleaning supplies at the Costco. I could easily have done the job with the vinegar, ammonia, and rags I already have at home.

szmaine

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #41 on: April 01, 2014, 05:05:43 PM »
I didn't plan well this week and have bought lunch at work 3 out of 4 days so far.  Yuck!

Can you stash some food at work? That's working out really well for me. I have a stash of bread, peanut butter, honey, yogurt and granola.

Zaga

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #42 on: April 01, 2014, 08:16:22 PM »
I didn't plan well this week and have bought lunch at work 3 out of 4 days so far.  Yuck!

Can you stash some food at work? That's working out really well for me. I have a stash of bread, peanut butter, honey, yogurt and granola.
I do at least have a snack stash, but not a great full meal stash.  We were just switched from cubes to tiny desks, so my space is fairly limited, though I do have access to a walk in fridge where I could keep whatever I want.  I'll have to work on this!

spider1204

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #43 on: April 01, 2014, 08:18:57 PM »
I lost my car key and now will probably have to pay to get the car towed and the key replaced.  I think my forgetfulness budget might be higher than anything else at the moment.

CarDude

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #44 on: April 01, 2014, 08:35:05 PM »
I lost my car key and now will probably have to pay to get the car towed and the key replaced.  I think my forgetfulness budget might be higher than anything else at the moment.

Mmm, I know the replacement fee on a number of new cars can be insane. Volvo used to charge $300 or more back in 2000 with the S60, and I'm sure it's higher now.

spider1204

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #45 on: April 01, 2014, 08:56:07 PM »
I lost my car key and now will probably have to pay to get the car towed and the key replaced.  I think my forgetfulness budget might be higher than anything else at the moment.

Mmm, I know the replacement fee on a number of new cars can be insane. Volvo used to charge $300 or more back in 2000 with the S60, and I'm sure it's higher now.

Ya, it's a volvo actually : p  Once it's towed to a safe location I'm probably gonna try to delay as long as possible and keep searching.  There are only really 4 possible locations and then the paths between them.

galliver

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #46 on: April 01, 2014, 09:38:20 PM »
I didn't plan well this week and have bought lunch at work 3 out of 4 days so far.  Yuck!

Can you stash some food at work? That's working out really well for me. I have a stash of bread, peanut butter, honey, yogurt and granola.
I do at least have a snack stash, but not a great full meal stash.  We were just switched from cubes to tiny desks, so my space is fairly limited, though I do have access to a walk in fridge where I could keep whatever I want.  I'll have to work on this!

Canned soup is an excellent standby. Even if you get the bowl-shaped ones that are like $2/ea, still cheaper than eating out.

Zamboni

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #47 on: April 01, 2014, 09:51:46 PM »
I drove about 15 extra miles out of the way and took my kids to Arby's for dinner tonight.  Mostly I did this because my son is hurt and was crying that he was going to miss basketball practice.  "Hey, let's go to Arby's for dinner!"  He loves Arby's and it had the desired effect that he stopped crying and started planning to eat his turnover.  It was good, but not as good as I remember it.  They seemed happy with it.

spoonman

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Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #48 on: April 01, 2014, 10:02:55 PM »
I keep adding beer when I go to a restaurant, which easily adds an extra $9 to the bill and takes it from "so and so" to ridiculus.

lhamo

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  • Location: Seattle
Re: What small things did you do today that were foolish money wasters?
« Reply #49 on: April 01, 2014, 11:15:54 PM »
I have been going through a very stressful time at work, compounded by nearly two weeks of travel/out of office meetings and some IT changes that have turned managing my schedule/email flow/all the urgent tasks very challenging.  Stressed out to the max, basically.  So yesterday was the first day in almost 3 weeks that I was able to get home at a reasonable time.  Had some time before I needed to pick my daughter up from the bus, so decided to get some groceries.  The potato chips were calling so lovingly I had to buy some.  And then eat them.  Woke up this morning feeling like crap, as I always do after eating junk -- totally dehydrated, with a massive headache.  I KNOW that crap is bad for me, but when I'm stressed food is my #1 release valve.  But it makes me feel awful after the immediate indulgence is satisfied.  I have a Ph.D., but I can't seem to get past this reactive behavior.  It isn't rocket science, but I find it so hard to change this pattern.  I know I'm wasting money and life energy, and shortening my life.  Gotta get a grip on the whole food thing.  Hard when the stress levels are so high, though.  At least today I'm back in the office and have been able to cross a few urgent and important things off the list, so making progress. And I'm having a healthy lunch -- lentil soup and an apple.