You Have to Spend Money to Save Money … Apparently

moneyI’m so annoyed. I called to get the electricity turned on in our new home this morning. I only wanted to get the electricity turned on, that’s all. It should be a simple easy call, but it isn’t. Everything you do these days involves some kind of up sell. I don’t want to pay extra money every month for access to your registered electrician. I don’t want your water heater insurance. I don’t want you to give my phone number to other companies. I just want to get my electricity turned on. That’s all.

Now I’m getting phone calls from all kinds of companies that can offer me services that can help me as I move into my new house. Yeah, just what I wanted, because I don’t have enough other things to do during the day.

Telephone sales seems like one of the worst jobs ever. Who wants to talk to someone trying to sell them something over the phone? I definitely don’t. I don’t think anyone does. It must be terrible to have to call people who don’t really want to talk to you all day.

That’s why I felt so compelled to be nice to Lisa when she called me this morning to offer me a great deal on whatever the heck she was selling. Lisa talked so fast I could hardly understand her. When I told her again and again that I wasn’t interested she just kept talking.

“Aren’t you interested in saving $1200?” she asked. She really sounded bewildered.

Yeah I’m interested in saving $1200, that’s why I’m not signing up for your service. They’re always trying to trick you into thinking you’re saving money by spending money. It’s like the grocery store receipts that have printed at the bottom you saved $5.28, but in reality you just spent $42.19.

Photo by Molly DG

Insurance for Your Leaky Pipes

We often get letters in the mail from our water company telling us that we should buy insurance from them. The mailings include prices for having plumbing issues repaired and explains how much we’ll save in repair costs if we purchase their insurance. For example, to repair leaking costs 94 pounds, to unblock a sink 97 pounds, to unblock a toilet 100 pounds. Where do they get these prices from? Why aren’t they all just 100 pounds?

Plumber: I unblocked your toilet. It only took me five minutes. Give me 100 quid.

I don’t worry about these prices because we’re renting so my landlord has to pay for any plumbing that goes wrong. My landlord probably isn’t very worried about it either because her nephew is a plumber.

My husband has this story he always tells about a plumber. It may sound like a joke, but it’s a true story. A plumber asks a jazz musician about how much it would cost to hire a band for his wedding.

Plumber: How much will it cost me to hire a quartet for my wedding?

Musician: Take the amount you would pay 4 plumbers to work for that amount of time and half it. That’s what it’ll cost you for a band.

Plumber: That’s a bit steep, isn’t it?

Christmas on a Budget

Times are economically tough, or at least that’s what I keep hearing. In these lean times, holiday shopping may be stretching the budget a bit. You still want to give Uncle Louie a present, but you can’t really afford to splash out on a bottle of Old Spice again this year. Don’t fret. I have the perfect solution. Try donating some fake money to a fake charity in Uncle Louie’s name. It’s a win win situation. Some fake people get help for their fake problem. Uncle Louie gets a fake present. You both have a laugh and best of all  your money stays in your wallet. Isn’t that what the holidays are all about?  Check out this link to find out more.

Email Scam

I got this amusing email today. I’ve recently gotten lots of scam email like this. The best part about it is the grammar.

Hello Dear,

Please i have to let you knowing this that your have reciverd your parcel, and do not let me knowing about that since last year.

At this very point now, do to i have not heard from you to knowing the sitution of things now, for your information track your parcel and you will sean what am talking about please.

However if you knowing that you are not the one please do get back to me as matter of urgent to day.please track and sean with this information Below

I didn’t include the link and phone number. I don’t think I’ll reply.

The Electric Company

Even though we left sunny Florida two months ago, the electric company insists on continuing to charge us for electricity. I’ve had evidence that I no longer reside in the apartment faxed to them. I’ve spoken to them repeatedly on the phone. Today I got a notice that my bill is unpaid and that they will cut off my electricity. They mailed the notice to England! Isn’t that proof enough that I no longer live there?

The thing that makes it worse is that some of the electricity they want me to pay for was used by Camden Lakes to run the ionizing machine they stuck in the apartment because it “smelled like spices.”

I’ve noticed when dealing with companies on the phone as so as the person I’m speaking to starts saying, “Yes, Ma’am” over and over that means they’re not really listening and they’re not going to do anything to fix the problem.

The Water Bill

I was happy to see our water bill slip through the mail slot in our door today. We need proof of address to do everything here and bills are the best way to prove your address.

My happiness was shattered when I opened the bill and saw that it was for 260 pounds. “Are you going to kill me or should I just kill myself?” I said as I dropped the bill on the table in front of my husband.

“This can’t be right.” He picked it up and examined it closely.

Fortunately we discovered that it is a bill for an entire year of water and sewage service. We have the choice of paying it all upfront, paying for it six months at a time, or paying it monthly. That’s a relief. Once we realized that, my heart started beating again.

The Price of Gas

I like reading gas prices out loud. This may seem unusual to you, but it’s one of my hobbies. I like to read the prices out loud and comment on how they compare to the average price. I like to point out the difference in prices from block to block. I like to talk about today’s prices compared to yesterday’s and last week’s. I know which sections of town have the highest prices and which have the lowest.

While I say I’m interested in gas prices, my husband says I’m obsessed. He came to this conclusion after he saw me become breathless when we passed a station with unusually cheap gas. I wasn’t actually breathless, I was choking on my own saliva. That choking wasn’t caused by gas prices but by a swallowing mishap. He doesn’t want to believe that. That’s his choice.

If my interest in gas prices is an obsession, it isn’t my fault. You see, I come from a gas-priced-obsessed family. My mother will drive for miles to save a few pennies on gas. The gas she used to get to that cheap gas station doesn’t matter. My parents can have a lively debate on where to get the cheapest gas. No matter how much you paid for gas, we’ve bought it cheaper someplace else.

When I see a person filling up at a station with prices two, three or sometimes even ten cents more expensive than the station up the road, I feel pity for them. I feel pity for anyone who pays more than they have to for gas.

So when I cut in front of you to turn abruptly into a gas station, don’t be angry. Follow me. Top off your already nearly full tank. Squeeze every drop that you can into it and smile, knowing you just bought the cheapest gas in town.