Tag Archives: transportation

The cost of a Free Concert

My uncle gave our family free tickets to a concert last week. It was Pink Martini, one of my wife’s favorite bands, so we couldn’t pass it up. The concert was a blast (especially for the kids who got to dance around) and I don’t regret going, but the evening came with an important lesson about the hidden costs of “free” activities.

Transportation: it was too far for the little ones to bike, and the bus ride would have been inconvenient with our picnic supplies, so we took the car. This put me over my limit in the gallon challenge, so although it wasn’t a huge deal to drive for the rest of the family, it was a personal defeat for me.*

Food: we were in too big of a rush to prepare dinner, so we ordered a pizza to go (and they forgot to put tomato sauce on it, WTF!?)

Other temptations: the concert was in a park that had a carousel, so the children wanted to ride on that. Only a couple bucks, and well worth the price for the nostalgic fun. Grandma bought the children some treats too. That’s what grandmas are for, right?

The point here isn’t “don’t leave your house” or “never take anyone up on an offer” since that would make life boring. The point is that it’s rare when things are truly free, and it’s important to think ahead about the actual cost of your choices.

* For those keeping score at home, this trip brought me up to 1.85 gallons.

Just-Cash June: Already had to break out the plastic

A few JCJ updates:

  • After only 3 days, I already had to use my only “get out of jail free” card for the month. I was shopping at the grocery store* for a bottle of bourbon (a gift for the boys’ Cub Scout leader). I thought I collected enough cash from the other parents in the den, but the bottle was more than I thought it would be. Lesson learned, carry a bit of extra cash around.
  • I sent cash in the mail. Only a little, to the room parent for the class teacher gift.
  • I bought gas with cash. It felt like something from the 1950’s. “Fill ‘er up with $4 of the cheap stuff!” (The scooter only takes 1 gallon of gas)

* Readers in Washington State will recognize how weird that sentence was to type.