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Spending Money Fail! How We Spend More Than We Realize

Lately, our car air condition started making odd sounds and slowly it seems like the air coming out of the system is less and less cool.  So based on this, my wife decided that when she took the car in for an oil changed, that she would have them recharge the air conditioner too.

Now as you may now, I’m a diy guy of sorts, and I wanted to have a crack at it myself, but unfortunately, I’ve been too busy with my day and side jobs to take the time to do it.  So my wife went ahead and scheduled to have it the oil changed and air conditioner fixed.  The plan was that we would drive the car in, then I would drive her home in my car, then we would go back to Panera Bread (with our kids in tow) for lunch.

Panera Bread

The cost for both the oil change and air recharged was discounted because my wife found some coupons, thus making the total expense for both around $140.  So the recharge of the air conditioning cost a little over $100, not too horrible, although I’m sure I could have accomplished the task for a fourth of the cost or maybe even less.

The Spending Money Fail!

The funny think was I worried about this expense all day, thinking what a waste of money it was.  And honestly it was a waste of money, since I could have done the task for a lot less!

What I find funny now though is there I was working on my laptop at Panera, occasionally thinking how expensive it was to fix the car, not taking into consideration that we spend at least $50 at Panera that day!  And what really trips me out is that sometimes we’ll go to Panera twice a week (although it doesn’t usually cost $50 because my daughter gets something from Wendy’s beforehand).

So in a two week’s span, We’ll spend about $140 on food that is instantly consumed without a second thought, whereas the recharging of the air conditioner which will last for at least five years caused me considerable financial agony for that day.  In a nutshell, I was worrying about a little pinprick in my financial dam, while behind me (not in my financial vision apparently) was a cannon hole letting my money gush out at a horrible rate in comparison.

Financial Grade for that day… F!




14 Responses to Spending Money Fail! How We Spend More Than We Realize

  1. A story like this reminds me that it is always a question of priorities and choices. For example, I have no problem having cable TV, yet some people think it is a waste of money. I see ti as my entertainment. I have practically no debt, so it is my choice.

    • Very true! We’ll still keep going out to Panera, but it’s funny I that I was so bothered buy the car repair, when in reality I almost spend that much weekly on eating out. I guess it like you say… in the car expense bucket, I don’t like to spend money, but in the fun “entertainment” bucket I feel differently…

      But wealth accumulation is math, and in that department I failed by not seeing my Panera expense… lol

  2. Don’t worry. I think a lot of people often do that. They think about how expensive one item is and forget that they are spending more on something else weekly. I think that is why one of the first tips you hear people say is: “To save money, bring your morning coffee and your lunch from home.” People get realize how much it adds up too.

    • I agree, I use to eat out all the time for lunch and breakfast… until I figured out that’s it cost me over $60 each week (for the 5 work days I’m at work)…

  3. When something becomes routine we tend to scrutinize it less but those once in a while expenses always seem like such a big deal. I try to reevaluate my entire plan a couple times a year to make sure nothing is getting out of whack or becoming routine when I don’t want it to.

  4. It really puts things in perspective eh? I remember being so resistant to spend $80 on a canoe day-trip adventure. We eventually decided to go ahead and do it – and now, FIVE YEARS later we still reminisce on what a great time we had.

    Yet… we spend about $80 every month in restaurants – without thinking twice. I can’t even remember what restaurant meals we had last month.

    • Yeah, isn’t it funny the way we all do that kind of thing? I think an entertainment budget would help with such things 🙂

  5. You’re right. That’s why we try to limit eating out to once a week. We spent $50 on happy hours two weeks ago, but that was a special occasion. Now that I’m not working anymore, we’ll probably cut down a bit.
    Car maintenance is necessary so I try not to skimp or delay too much.

    • good point. We should all be more critical about the money we spend on food vs income aiding assets like cars, etc…

  6. Absolutely. Just ordered chinese last night. I know that we need to have our breaks done sometime in the next year and that is going to hurt A LOT! It’s interesting how things come down to a commodity of time sometimes.

    • yeah, that’s another good point. Fixing my car means taking time out of a busy schedule, so that hurt too. Vs going to Panera, I can sill work online. That almost makes Panera a business expense (lol).

  7. HAHAHAHAH the wife yells at me all the time for this. I’ll freak out if she shops at an expensive food store but then I’ll go to the bar and drop $100+ lol