I don’t mind using my time and effort to save money. It’s worth it to me to clip coupons I’ll use, check for sales and go to three different stores to buy my groceries to take advantage of the best deals (something Husband and others often tease me about). I do try to save time and effort when possible, planning my day so that as little time, effort and gas is expended as possible. I’m not obsessive about it, and there are many exceptions, but I don’t mind putting a little elbow grease into saving money.
Sometimes, though, the time and effort are just not worth the money saved.
Case in point: yesterday I bought airline tickets for Son and I to fly North for a wedding.
We’re going to a Bar Mitzvah in New Jersey, and my sister and Mom live just a few hours away in Connecticut. My first thought was to fly into Hartford and spend a few days, drive with them down to the Bar Mitzvah, go back to Connecticut with them and fly home from Hartford.
When I first checked rates a few days ago, though, I was shocked. Rising fuel costs and a myriad of other reasons made the rates out of my price range. I found that I could fly into Newark for much less. I could ride back up to Connecticut with my sister after the Bar Mitzvah, then get a ride or take public transportation (Son would love the train!) back to Newark to fly home.
Then I realized it was way too far to ask my family to drive us. I checked prices for train, bus and limousine from their house to Newark. I thought about dragging a three year old, a carseat and the rest of our luggage from train to bus to airport.
Just for giggles I looked at the rates to Hartford again, and I decided to widen the travel date parameters. One of the many perks to being a Stay at Home Mom with a preschooler means I can take advantage of being flexible about flight dates and times.
I wound up finding flights that would give us a week with my family instead of just a few days, and it was only about $125 more than flying into Newark. That’s about $25 more than I would have spent on the least expensive public transportation getting from Connecticut back to Newark for our flight home.
And instead of spending an entire day dragging a three-year-old from train to bus to airport to home I’d get the job done in a few short hours.
Less time. Less effort. A bit more money.
Worth. Every. Penny.