money management

Spending extra for convenience

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Good morning loves.  Last weekend I went home for a family reunion and let me tell you I had a blast.  Every year my extended family, aka my Dad’s oldest friends from childhood who also happen to all be related to each other as well as my God parents, host a family barbeque.  It’s a chance to see all my “uncles, aunts and cousins” (who are of course not related to me by blood) as well as their spouses and children.

Spending the long weekend with family

This year we had approximately 80 people who came out to spend a day in the park.  We ate lots of great food, had a ton of drinks, played volleyball, had a water balloon toss, enjoyed a pie eating contest and basically just had a great time.

I wasn’t planning on attending the family reunion this year because I haven’t spent a long weekend at home all summer.  I was busy travelling and taking advantage of the warm summer months.  So this Labor Day weekend I thought I would stay home.  However after several text messages from my sister telling me that I would be the only person not in attendance and one phone call from my Dad actually offering to pay for my trip – I was guilted in to going.

Travelling the cheapest way is not always the best way

The truth is I actually didn’t want to miss the reunion because it’s always great to see my family, but for once I just wanted to stay home, sleep in and relax in my apartment.  I didn’t take my Dad up on his offer to pay for the trip and I started looking into last minute travel options.

I love taking the train, it’s actually my preferred method of travel because security in airports is a hassle and driving makes me sleepy.  However the last minute train prices were more than I wanted to pay (since I didn’t have a planned budget for this last minute trip) I decided to book a trip on Megabus.

Have you ever taken Megabus?  The concept sounds very appealing; it’s a double decker bus that allows limited assigned seating and tables for drinks and workstations.  The travel time was only one hour longer than the train and the price was half the cost.  I thought it was a win-win; until I actually got on the bus.

Spending for convenience

The one factor that I didn’t take into consideration was the fact that a bus travels on the roads and a train is off road on tracks.  My one hour of extra travel time turned into two hours with traffic and I was late for the barbeque.  There is nothing more that I hate than sitting in traffic; it’s a waste of time and I am extremely impatient.

At the end of the weekend I decided that I just couldn’t get back on another bus so I booked a very last minute train ticket.  If I would have just taken the train both ways it would have saved me a lot of time and actually cost less than the bus ticket plus the last minute train ticket.  Lesson learned.

Have you ever spent a little extra money for convenience?

Photo from Flickk

About the author

TK

TK is a Certified Financial Planner with over 15 years of experience in the banking industry. She started blogging in 2009 after the market crash. TK enjoys helping people plan their retirement, pay off debt, invest wisely, live on a budget and enjoy happy financial lives. You can see what she's up to on Twitter @TahnyaKristina.

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