As most of you know it’s sometimes very difficult to make the best financial choices all the time, even when the logical side of our brain tells you its wrong, we still often make the wrong choice. It’s obvious this is the case; otherwise American wouldn’t be in the debt crisis we are currently facing. Millions of Americans wouldn’t have lost their home to foreclosure or be facing foreclose in the near future. With this article I however want to take this topic down to a simpler thought. I want to talk about why we make small dumb financial choices each day that may not have a major impact on our lives, but do affect our finances.
I want to start with an everyday example. There is a convenient store / gas station chain located in the Midwest and Southern parts of the United States called Speedway. Many of the Speedways that I know today were once Super America stores but this is just side information. The point is they have a rewards program. For all your in store and fuel purchases you are awarded points. These points can be redeemed for merchandise, gift cards to Speedway or gift cards to other partner stores. Sounds like a great deal, right? Wrong!
First, the term convenient store means you are going to pay a lot more for any item you buy there because it’s convenient. You won’t have to wait in a long grocery store line to checkout and you can get your can of soda already chilled and ready to drink, but it will cost you, sometimes as much as 500%! For example, just the past week soda was on sale for $2.50 for a 12 pack. I admit this isn’t typical, but you can sometimes find these deals. A convenient store may charge as much as $1.00 for a can of pre-chilled soda. $0.21 for a grocery store soda versus $1.00 for a convenient store soda is about a 500% markup.
How can you solve this problem of convenient store robbery? The answer is pretty simple and you have a couple obvious options. First, don’t drink soda; it’s not good for you anyway. Second, pack a small cooler to take in the car when you leave the house. Fill it with cold soda and even snacks. If you plan to be on the road for a while it’s a great break from driving to stop and grab a snack.
Remember I said this was a two part post, stay tuned for part two very soon.