By: Revanche

Short term thinking: stop it!

February 7, 2014


There’s nothing that chaps my ass as much as stupid mistakes, unless it’s stupid decisions that cost me money. Unless it’s stupid, aka shortsighted, decisions that costs me a lot of money.

Part of our auto insurance just spiked by more than 50% because my dad got two tickets in the last two years, and made the foolish decision to pay the fine in court ($100) instead of going to traffic school ($250). Not only did he make this decision on his own without discussing it with me, he never mentioned the tickets at all.

He meant well but clearly he wasn’t thinking of the long term effects. I had to explain to him that his $150 savings will now actually cost me over $1000 in the next two and three years in raised insurance premiums.

He’s now paying for his daily expenses (food, gas, utilities) and stupid crap like tickets, but not for housing or insurance yet. I’m not pushing the issue because I’m keeping an eye on the regularity of the utility payments and have had to make a couple supplemental payments in December as he’s not keeping up with them regularly, he’s still learning how to budget on an irregular budget.

As I suspected when we agreed that he was going to start taking on the regular monthly stuff like utilities, there’s not been a word from him about getting behind in payments.  It seems he’ll simply won’t learn or change on that front, so my instinct not to trust him to talk to me instead of finding himself slowly being boiled in (debt) water that’s been heating up over time was right.

It’s not going to break us but our carefully constructed budget is going to take a hit unless I can find a way to cut back somewhere else to compensate. Which, again, chaps my ass.

*deep yoga breathing*

I managed to talk to him about the consequences of his short term decisions, without losing my temper, but it was tough keeping a lid on it.  The damage is done, so there’s no use hollering about it.

This is NOT what I meant when I said I wanted Stupid Money.

I’m not alone, am I?  (Misery does love company, sometimes.)


6 Responses to “Short term thinking: stop it!”

  1. That was very calm of you, not to freak out and tell the old fella how the cow ate the proverbial cabbage. He probably didn’t even think about the effect on the communal car insurance bill.

    Look, try to find an independent insurance broker. We have a guy in our business networking group who’s an insurance broker. Just this week he reported that he landed an account with a guy one of us referred to him. The new client, proud father of a teenaged boy, had been with State Farm for 20 years. Kid got into a little accident, as kids will do. State Farm jacked up the premiums for ALL the family’s drivers, right through the stratosphere and into orbit around Jupiter. When questioned, they said they’d revert the price only if the son was taken off the policy.

    Our guy not only got the whole bunch of them insured, he saved them a thousand dollars on the annual premiums!

    He saved me $500 a year or so ago, when he moved me away from AARP’s supposedly rock-bottom coverage — and got getter coverage.

    The trick is not to deal with a specific company’s agent or to try to go mano-a-mano with some insurance company’s telephone sales reps. Find a licensed independent insurance broker.
    Funny about Money recently posted…Time Management: Where DOES the Time Go, Anyway?My Profile

    • Revanche says:

      I will take my credit where it’s due for not yelling 🙂 It STILL burns me up but that’s cause we haven’t had time to waste on fixing this. Thanks for the suggestion about the broker, I’ll give that a go if I can get someone decent.

  2. Kris says:

    I had these difficulties before I took over my mother’s finances completely several years back. The worst short-term thinking was when my mom wanted to save $30/month by not having nursing home coverage on her Medigap policy. Thanks, Mom.

    When she finally needed 24-hour care, I added that immediately. I couldn’t believe the poor planning, but she’s always been that way – penny-wise, pound-foolish. Since her mind has really deteriorated, I do her finances completely now. She doesn’t give it a second thought.

    • Revanche says:

      I’m so sorry to hear that – that’s hugely frustrating and a whole heck of a lot of financial impact! I guess you tend to carry on, into old age, the habits you had before rather than learning. 🙁

  3. […] am just a couple decisions away from getting the whole thing sorted. Rates went up thanks to my dad making a bad decision after getting ticket, and some mysterious extra charge on PiC’s auto insurance that I have to […]

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