My Present Thoughts on Risk and Life

We’re closing in on Halloween and I’m pretty excited about it. Last year I posted about Halloween and Missed Opportunities and with that fresh in my mind, I started planning my Halloween costume really early, like nine months early and while I did change ideas a couple times, I’m really happy about what I settled on. Don’t worry, you will be getting some pictures after tomorrow but today I wanted to talk about something even scarier than Halloween: physical danger.

My costume is pretty intricate and while my wife and I (OK mostly my wife) are making the costume completely from scratch to save some dough and make it fit my attention to detail the best it can, it is still costing some cash to get all the materials together. One part of the costume, boxing gloves, red to be precise, are not something that we can make so I have been putting off buying them for the past month. They will cost about $20 unless I can find them used somewhere. I also have the option to borrow a pair from a friend but his pair is not completely ideal for the costume as they are black and my attention to detail is having a hard time getting over that.

This morning as I was coming in to work I happened to spot a pair of red boxing gloves, the exact thing I have been looking for…on the freeway….

They looked they were still a complete pair as I passed by, and undamaged for the most part. The real problem is that they were not just in the freeway, which would have been impossible and I would have just given up, but they were on the median which gave me hope. Though there is no shoulder to speak of on that median, there was shoulder on the opposite direction of traffic so I could have gotten off the freeway, gotten on going the other direction, pulled over where there was a shoulder, hopped the barrier and walked against traffic on the median to pick up the pair of gloves…

I ran this by the guy that had agreed to loan me his pair of boxing gloves and he laughed at me; the thought I was joking. When he realized I was completely serious, he pointed out that this was pretty dangerous and if I really wanted to risk my life to save $20, I should go for it. Otherwise I could still borrow his gloves or simply buy a pair for $20.

After thinking it over, he was completely right. Not only did I not know the condition of the gloves that happened to somehow find their way into the freeway the day before I needed them, but it was dangerous. Is $20 worth risking my life over?

While thinking about this, I kept coming back to the thought that although this danger is physical and immediate, as well as completely avoidable, I do plenty of things in my life to save money that could have an even bigger effect on my health such as not visiting the doctor as often as I should, and even eating poorly at times. Is the cost of a doctors visit worth risking my life over?

What is the least amount of money you have risked your life over? Is frugality worth it?

Image by Thomas Dwyer

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10 People have left comments on this post

» BaxterNo Gravatar said: { Oct 28, 2010 - 05:10:03 }

Are you ephing kidding me? Do you know that people walk on to the freeway to die? That is the whole purpose of walking on the freeway, that is why there is a law prohibiting people from traveling by foot on that particular roadway. VERY dangerous! Yet you are willing to do it for 20 bucks? You should run this by your family and see what they think. I am sure they will think the same thing!

» ctreitNo Gravatar said: { Oct 28, 2010 - 05:10:45 }

I don’t think I ever risked my life over any amount of money. My wife might disagree because I do some high risk sports. But I never skimp on safety. In my view the risks are never related to money.

» Financial SamuraiNo Gravatar said: { Oct 29, 2010 - 12:10:57 }

Have the wallet! It’s all yours!

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

I’m not suicidal I promise!

» Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar said: { Oct 29, 2010 - 08:10:42 }


I really didn’t even think about it. I’m very analytical and really did walk through the process it would take to pursue grabbing these gloves, in my mind, I’m not the kind of guy to jump into anything, spur of the moment. I am glad that I ran it by my buddy that really made how ridiculous my thought was stand out though.

Thank you for taking the time though to talk some sense into me. I really appreciate it!

» Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar said: { Oct 29, 2010 - 08:10:26 }


I focus so much on the safety of my family, I sometimes neglect to think of my own safety. I love the Workforce Services commercials with kids telling their parents, “be careful out there”, they really do help remind me that my safety is just as important to my family as theirs.

» Darwin's MoneyNo Gravatar said: { Nov 1, 2010 - 07:11:57 }

Lousy diet and sedentary lifestyle are pretty big risks almost all Americans partake in. We all know it’s wrong, yet it’s so damn easy. Diabetes and heart attacks in your 50s and 60s stinks.

» Everyday TipsNo Gravatar said: { Nov 2, 2010 - 08:11:53 }

While I was reading this, I kept thinking ‘don’t do it, don’t do it’! I have two sets of boxing gloves at my house here (I have two sons, my daughter isn’t into boxing gloves. Actually, neither are my sons. They were more an impulse buy now that I think about it…)

You did inspire me to make my dentist appt today though, and I am also going to call to get another test I have been putting off. So thanks!

» FB @ FabulouslyBroke.comNo Gravatar said: { Nov 4, 2010 - 08:11:42 }

What a thoughtful post. I do remember missing dentist appointments when I was working just so I wouldn’t have to pay for the $100 – $300 out of pocket

Now I see it’s just plain stupid and I should just go. So I try to go every 6 months (I have very high maintenance teeth), and I just eat the cost. I have to. It’s my teeth. I can’t grow them back!

» Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar said: { Nov 5, 2010 - 11:11:54 }


I agree. That’s a fight I’ve been fighting for years!

@Everyday Tips

I’m glad I could inspire. I regret posting this to some degree because I was so foolish, but if I inspired you to check your health, it was worth it!


Yep, I feel the same way about my doctor visits! But, you only live once, and think of the cost of NOT going aside from health. My root canal earlier this year cost almost $1000 and if I had gone to a regular checkup it could have been avoided entirely!

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