Sunday, September 4, 2016

How to loose money by being cheap.

I will confess that I'm fairly cheap. 

One of our family friends referred to me as "frugal".  I probably am.  Or maybe I'm just cheap. 

Or economical.

Its a virtue taught to me by my parents.  They never splurged on things and they didn't spend money unwisely.  This doesn't mean that they didn't buy some nice things, they did, but they didn't waste money and they almost never bought anything a person would consider a luxury.  Somehow or another, that quality was passed on to me, although I often think that I compare very poorly with them in these regards and I tend to feel guilty when I purchase something I really don't need, particularly if it is for myself.

I often ponder purchases a very long time even when they are a good idea. That often saves me money as over time I'll find that I didn't buy it, and lost interest in it, whatever it is, or that the item was sold to somebody else and therefore the opportunity to buy it is gone. As I didn't need it, I don't worry about it.  It's habits like that which will keep me, for example, from every owning a Harley-Davidson as I while I might admire the occasional Harley, the length of time that I'd deliberate on buying one virtually guarantees that I'll never own one. And that's okay, as I'll save money by not buying it.

That doesn't always work, however.

This is my sad Jeep.

I love my Jeep.

Ever since I bought it I have been pondering buying a RedRock grill guard.  And only a grill guard but also a Or-Fab swinging tire carrier/rack for the back and a winch. All of these things are very useful for a Jeep, and the Jeep is very useful.

Well, Or-Fab went out of business last month, although their website says they're going to be reorganized and back in business soon, so when I went to order the tire carrier, which I decided on last month, it was no longer available.

And I've never ordered the grill guard.

Well, the Jeep lost this contest with a large ungulate yesterday.  If I had the grill guard I'd be buying a new one.

But instead I'll be buying a new radiator, grill, fenders and hood. 

I'm going to spend a lot more than I would have for the grill guard and what's more, I knew I needed a grill guard for just this sort of thing.

Frankly, I'm sick about it.  I'll loose use of the Jeep for a month now thanks to all of this, and mostly thanks to myself.


Rich said...

One of the nuggets of wisdom I've tried at times to share with the younger generations I'm related to is, "spend money like you're broke and you'll never be broke" (or something similar to that depending on my mood). One popular variation is, "stop spending so much money buying a bunch of worthless junk you don't need and you won't be so broke".

I don't know if that makes me frugal, cheap, a tightwad, an idiot, or all of the above.

Years and years ago, I broke the driver's side window in my pickup due to my own stupidity, and I drove it that way for well over a year out of sheer stubbornness. Everyday, people drive Jeeps without doors and motorcycles with nothing but a seat, so why would I need to waste money on a window?

I soon learned that it's an experience to drive down the highway in the winter during a snowstorm without a window, and you'd be surprised at the looks people give you when they realize you have the window open when it's that cold and miserable.

After I'd driven without a window for a week, I figured it wouldn't that big of a deal to wait a few more days to replace it. Then after a month, it wasn't that big of a deal to wait another month or so, until it was 18 months later and I was looking at suffering through another winter when I finally had a new window installed.

I don't know if all that means I'm frugal or a nitwit, but it made me look at things a little differently and it makes a good story.

Pat, Marcus & Alexis said...

That story sounds distressingly familiar.

I've run with cracked windshields for years. I know it is not entirely safe, but until they get really bad, I tend not to replace them.

Last time I replaced one I got a defective one, and I still ran with that for weeks before I went down and asked the shop about it, which replaced it for free as it was truly defective.