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