Thursday, February 16, 2012

Spending money to save money

The guys (and dd wants to go) have a swap meet they want to attend on Saturday (and I get the whole day to MYSELF!)  to try and sell a few things and see what good deals they can find to turn around and spend their money on.  This swap meet is a 2 hour drive away and in order to take one of our 6 foot long folding tables, for setting up their wares, they would need to drive our big old SUV up there.  At a gas guzzling 10 mpg it will cost almost $100 to make the round trip.

Now before you think we were totally un-frugal and went and paid out $40 or $50 Thousand Ddollars on one of these things - we did not!  We spent $5,000 on one...a used 2003 model that was a fleet truck from a railroad company, 195,000 miles on it.  When gas went over $4 a gallon, the price of these used guzzler's came way down. And it fit the needs we have for occasional use, it's not a daily driver for any of us.  But when we all (us, kids, often times a friend or two, and the dog) all need to get somewhere or we need to haul something big or with the trailer, that's what we use.  It's certainly not a frugal vehicle in anyway whatsoever but when you have a trailer to pull you need this or a truck and $5000 was about the cheapest we could find to do it. I was actually very proud of Dh on this purchase. In earlier years it would've had to be new or nothing.  Hey, I take his financial changes however I can get them ;)

One of the kids mentioned "why don't we take Mom's car?" (a mini type of crossover that gets 30mpg) and Dh mentioned the 6ft table wouldn't fit.  "Well, unless I had one of those types of folding tables that folds in half. Then we could take Mom's car."  I looked online with Home Depot and Lowes and they are about $50.  Oh man, I didn't want to fork out another $50 for something we don't absolutely have to have!  But then the accountant in me did the math.  250 miles round trip in the gas guzzler would cost almost $100 in gas.  250 miles round trip in my car would cost about $33.  Add in $50 for a new table and we'd still be $17 ahead...and have a new table to boot!  So, I headed to Walmart, to check there first before I drove all the way to the Home Improvement stores and found the table he wanted for $40.  Did I mention I get the whole day to myself on Saturday???!!


  1. We too have a gas guzzling SUV that we bought used 2 years ago for $3000. It's an expensive vehicle to run for sure, but it comes in handy at times. We try to use it only when necessary and will sell it when the spouse retires.

    Have fun on Saturday! Having the house to yourself means watching trashy movies, eating chocolate and sitting on the computer for as long as you want to :P NO housework by order.

  2. I can't tell you how many times we wished we had one of these "guzzlers"...But I think, you handled the situation beautifully! Have fun on Saturday :)

  3. This exemplifies the whole keeping the frugal balls in the air balancing act.
    Do you take actions just toward a frugal end? Or there other concerns that come into play with every action we take?

    Do you balance the frugality with the enjoyment of an experience(selling/shopping at a flea market can be a buzz and/or provide life lessons for your kids)....or balance the frugality with having to acquire more goods(which may add to depleting the earth's resources and eventually add to the waste stream).
    Being frugal is NOT a simple black or white choice and it's not always ONLY about the money, is it?

  4. Excellent point, Sluggy! I tend to only focus on the money aspect of life's experiences but there is certainly more than that. Over the past several years of attending these swapmeets Ds has learned a lot about how to price his parts and not just give them away, because someone offers him a fraction of it's worth. Dh and Ds get to spend some quality time together and oh, did I mention I get the whole day to myself?! :)