By John Ingrisano
Director, Family Finance Conference Center
I had to laugh at my own foolishness recently. Here I am, the money guy, offering advice on how to make, spend, keep, and manage your assets. However, I ended up paying 40% more for a meal. Here’s how:
I was at an airport last month, grabbing a quick bite between flights. The price for my tortilla wrap came to $4.99. While standing at the counter, I also realized that I needed something to drink, so, without thinking, I picked up a $1.99 bottle of water.
As I walked away, having already cracked the seal on the water, I overheard the next person in line ask for a salad and a “glass” of water. The counter clerk, without hesitating, scooped up some ice in a cup and ran water out of the tap. No charge. Wow! It was a head-slapping V-8 moment! I walked away shaking my head, half annoyed and half amused at my own foolishness and lack of thrift.
The point (two points, actually): First, in the United States, the water that comes out of the tap is safe and drinkable, no matter what anyone says. Bottled water may have its place, but it is an expensive luxury.
Second, if we are not vigilant, we can be nickeled and dimed to death at every turn by hidden fees and add-ons. In the airport incident, I was less than thrilled at paying nearly $2 for a bottle of water. When I finally thought about it, however, what really ticked me off was that I could have gotten that same product for free. Plus, it jacked up my tab by a full 40%! (Oh, and it’s not the vendor’s fault. I take full responsibility.)
So, in the words of Ben Franklin: “Watch the pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves.”
Want to learn more about money management? Visit The Family Finances Conference Center. We also do affordable seminars and money management workshops for businesses, nonprofits, and other groups. All programs are tailored to the unique and individual needs of your business or organization, based on the principles of the book and workbook set, The Back to Basics Book of Money! A Couple’s Guide to Financial Peace.
209 Church Street
Algoma, WI 54201