Ever since I had corrective surgery on my foot, I’ve been blowing through money left and right. It all started a couple weeks ago when I was working from home. Too sore to cook, I called the bodega downstairs. Flash forward a few days later, and I was paging them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
They delivered in less than 15 minutes, but for every Tigre del Norte wrap and Snapple I ordered, I spent roughly $15, plus tip.
Still, the convenience was too good to pass up. I went from ordering sandwich wraps to household supplies. I stocked up on cat food ($1.79/can), dishwashing soap ($5), and a dust pan ($10). And when the bodega didn’t have what I needed, I purchased two boxes of trash bags ($6.49/each) and a box of kitty litter ($10.99) from the grocer down the street.
Living in Brooklyn is expensive already, but because my neighbourhood, Bushwick, is basically a food desert, the high end grocery stores and bodega mark up prices because they can. This discourages the poor from shopping there, and nudges young professionals into paying more for not having to schelp to Manhattan for Snapple.
But the price of convenience doesn’t stop there. Since I could barely walk, I had car services whisk me to and from doctor’s appointments. This cost $20 each way, and after only two visits I’d spent $80. Cabs may have been cheaper, but few will travel from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Again, I paid for the convenience of not having to brave the subway in my boot.
Every spending decision is a conscious one, but it’s funny how life can make us rationalize even the most frivilous purchases. Especially the ones that on the surface sound logical, but are totally overpriced.
It’s like staying in a hotel, where you get hit with sneaky fees for anything from early check-in to plucking a snack from the minibar. Or flying any namebrand airline that’s a little too eager to charge for meals and ship luggage direct to your door.
As loath as I am to admit it, all the money I’ve blown would have been better spent on groceries purchased before I had the surgery, not after. Had I planned for the costs in advance, perhaps I wouldn’t be kicking myself today.