Penny Wise, Pound Stupid

A week ago, I was touting the wisdom of acting impulsively (or suffer regrets).  Well, the last two days have shown me the wisdom of restraint.

Yesterday, I was visiting an online vendor, one with whom I’ve done business previously, and I found something of interest.  When all was said and done, I was looking at an expense of about $138, and that included the base price, shipping, and any taxes.  This is not a substantial amount of money, but given that I’ve got so many things to do and not enough cash with which to do them, I reasoned that it might be best for me to wait.  That didn’t sit well with me; for most of the day I mulled over pressing the “Enter” key, thus sending my order to their offices, but each time I got ready to do so, I felt that something was wrong.  I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I’ve since come to appreciate the wisdom of that Inner Voice, because something unexpected happened.  I’ve mentioned that I needed an oil change for my car.  Well, I drove over to my dealer for the dirty deed and was greeted with a small laundry list of problems.  There’s a problem with a sensor that might run a few hundred dollars.  Is it necessary?  No, but it’s nice to have.  There’s a slight problem with the transmission.  More serious in general, but the mechanics assured me that it’ll be a while before I need to worry.  It’s something that I can put off until later (albeit, not forever).  Then there was the major issue:  My tire.

Last week, I had two tires replaced.  I’d wanted all four done, but I just couldn’t justify the costs.  Two now, and two next month – spread the damage out a bit, I thought.  Well, one of the tires slated to be replaced has a nail in it.  Not just a nail, but one wedged in at such an angle that patching is not possible.  I have to replace the tire.

I thought that I was going to collapse when he told me that.  I mean, I could have had all four changed last week, but I thought that I was doing the smart thing.  I thought that I was being fiscally responsible here, not digging too large a hole at one time.  And if that’s not good enough, then there’s the fact that I could have gotten a much better deal on four tires at once, than two last week and two more this week.

The shop which changed my tires won’t be able to see me until the middle of next week.  That’s far too long for me to be without transportation.  The dealer, however, surprised me – they’ll be able to do the work tomorrow morning.  Of course, I jumped at the opportunity,  They insisted on matching their tires to the ones I’ve purchased (I’m not that much of a purist, but whatever), and they’ll have a pair for me as soon as the sun rises.  The entire process will cost me $25 more than did the first pair, mainly because of disposal fees and taxes, but I’m in a bind; I’ve got little say here.  When all is done, I’ll have spent $530 on a set of tires, when I could have gotten them for $500 last week, and even as low $430, had I taken advantage of discounts associated with opening a charge card at the other shop.

In all honesty, I expected to spend $500 on a full set, so tomorrow’s total is not all that offensive.  I’m more angry over the fact that I could have solved all of this at one time, but I didn’t.  Now I’ll have to waste another two hours on auto issues, and cough up money that I really don’t have.

But you know what?  Things would be a whole lot worse had I given in to my impulse yesterday and made that online purchase.  So yeah, I was “penny wise, pound foolish,” but I can recover.  And I’ll have a new set of tires to boot.

I don’t know what I’m going to do about this computer, though . . .


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