Remember my posts about how I was tracking Black Friday sales? And we were going to hit Target for a cheap TV and maybe an iPod Touch? In fact, I was so proud of my planning that I bought a $500 Target gift card off eBay, saving myself a few bucks and netting $20 in eBay Bucks.
Well… Guess what couple ended up not making the doorbusters? A-yuh. That’d be us.
The temperatures dropped into the 30s that weekend, and Tim’s knees (having been broken twice) ache in the cold. I mean, crippling, can-barely-walk pain. In addition, he has perpetual dry mouth, so he wasn’t really monitoring his fluid intake. I think you can see where all this is headed.
The poor guy held out for nearly three hours before giving up and coming home. On some level, I knew I should go with him, but… I really didn’t want to. Even a little. And so we ended up stuck with a $500 GC at a store we only occasionally buy from.
I checked Target sales for two or three weeks, hoping to find a good enough deal on a TV to use our store credit. But the prices weren’t comparable to what we could get online. And I refused to bow to the “It’s already spent” mindset.
I considered selling on eBay but, with seller and PayPal fees, we would have lost at least $60. I checked some buy/sell GC sites, but we’d still lose $40. No thanks.
Meanwhile, there were a few items we had been meaning to buy, and that Target sells. A floor lamp had just died, and we wanted a decent-looking replacement for under $50. Done. Tim needed a new memory card for his PSP, as he’d been mentioning for about four months. Picked that up as well. Also, he was running low on his Playstation Network card. He runs through a $20 card every three to four months. Since we would eventually spend it anyway, we got a $50 card. In that one case, the “It’s already spent” mentality makes sense, I think.
But even after all that, we still had $360 left. Luckily, I discovered that Target sells prepaid Visa debit cards. Less luckily, each $100 card has a $6 fee attached.
And that, my friends, is how my “preparedness” for Black Friday ended up costing us $18.
It could have been much worse — $20 to $40 worse — but it could have been much better. It was pretty disheartening, to be honest. I was kicking myself for awhile. Still, I’m trying to see it as a life lesson.
This happened because I was once again trying too hard to be this ideally frugal person I envision in my head. Even if I weren’t a depressive, that’s pretty much impossible.
But since I am, it’s exponentially harder. I have to struggle not to get completely discouraged by my limitations.What’s more, when I don’t respect those limitations — I should have known that we couldn’t possibly do a crack-of-dawn doorbuster — I paint myself into a corner. I create situations where, if I don’t get everything exactly right, it all falls apart. And I usually end up being worse off than when I started.
All this is an excellent reminder that life is simpler, easier and, yes, sometimes even cheaper when I accept my normal, if vastly imperfect, level of frugality. And any day now my stubborn brain will accept that.
Anyone else have any “d’oh” moments recently?