Kyle and I did something supremely boneheaded last month that cost us a pretty penny – yes, you will be reading about it on Friday in my monthly budget review.
To lay the scene, every year Kyle and I share tickets to our university’s men’s basketball team’s home games with a group of students in Kyle’s program. We camp out together for 36 hours to enter a lottery to win season tickets and then we split the season tickets among the group members, each drawing games. (This year, we won 4 tickets for 10 people.) One important detail is that the season tickets are not individual tickets for every game, but a single card that permits entry to every home game. So we have 4 ticket cards and a detailed spreadsheet as to who has drawn each game and who will pass off each season ticket card to whom between each home game.
Kyle and I attended a game on February 15 and the next home game was February 22. We originally had drawn the February 22 game, but because we were called out of town we had to trade those tickets, updating the spreadsheet accordingly. (And if you watched the ending to that game, you will understand how even much more painful trading those tickets became in retrospect!) On February 20 we flew from RDU to LAX for our weekend celebrating our friend’s wedding and visiting with friends and family. Can you see where this is going? We realized just after boarding our plane at RDU that we were still in possession of two season ticket cards that our friends needed in two days.
I can’t even describe to you how mad we were at ourselves and how ashamed we were for forgetting to pass off the ticket cards. Our dismay was compounded by the fact that this particular game on the 22nd was slated to be the best of the season and since we had to miss it we for sure didn’t want to force our groupmates to miss it! We’ve never done anything like this before – our group has always been careful to note when people were leaving town for winter break, for instance, and to designate someone staying in town as the holder of the ticket cards so no one will miss a game after returning to town. We just had such busy days leading up to our flight and had a lot on our mind other than basketball! Normally ticket cards aren’t passed until the day before the game, so our groupmates probably wouldn’t have contacted us to get the tickets until Friday, anyway. Ugh!
So here is where money was able to solve the stupid predicament we put ourselves in. We used FedEx to overnight the tickets from Los Angeles to Durham. We considered using a FedEx dropoff box during our layover in Atlanta, which would have been slightly cheaper, but Kyle didn’t want to trust such a time-sensitive package to an airport dropoff location. So the morning after our arrival in LA, we hurried ourselves to a FedEx location and got our package into the system earlier than it would have been if we had abandoned it in Atlanta. It arrived on time and our friends attended the game using the tickets.
This kind of mistake can easily be characterized as a dumb waste of money. And for sure I wish we hadn’t done it – it was embarrassing for us and inconvenient for everyone involved. But I prefer to just appreciate that money (and FedEx) was able to get us out of the mess we created. Kyle and I are no longer living paycheck-to-paycheck so we didn’t have to stress about what that $55.50 would do to our budget. We just pulled some extra from our general savings account, which serves as our buffer when unexpected expenses come up. So thank you, general savings account, for enabling us to rectify our error. Money can’t compare to obligations to friends, or attending amazing basketball games.
Have you ever done something truly stupid that unnecessarily cost you a bunch of money? Do you stop to appreciate that you have money when you’re able to use it to get you out of a jam or improve your life?
photo from Free Digital Photos
Filed under: mistakes