Have you ever placed a bucket under a facet with a slow leak, just to see if it really matters?
I have, and that bucket was full every time I checked. One little drip, every few seconds equates to a lot of water over time. If you have holes in your financial plan, money is dripping away and filling someone else’s buckets! When I saw an article headline stating that American’s have $3,600 per year dripping down the drain, I immediately grabbed some buckets and headed out the door looking to collect.
Article Link: American’s spend 3,600 to work
It quickly became apparent that I would need more buckets, as there were leaks everywhere. I placed buckets under my own vehicles, as well as all my neighbors. Soon these buckets were filling up with $1,667 per year. That is about $150 more then my bi-weekly take home pay. Thrillingly, I essentially teach two weeks each year for free, in order to have the privilege of driving back and forth to work.
Now don’t get me wrong, my dive is wonderful, mostly 4-6 lane highway, with some nice warehouse and industrial views. As traffic backs up at highway merge points, I get a chance to gaze blankly at concrete barriers and contemplate things like how much do they weight, or why can’t they make them a bit taller so I’m not blinded by headlights (answer: dudes will just put slightly bigger lift kits on their trucks always negating the effect of taller medians – I can’t think of any other reason to jack up a truck that only drives on highways, so this must be the reason). Suddenly, my daydream hears someone tapping the barrier with a hammer, that’s odd. Awoken, I glance in my mirror to realize its just a truck, brake retarders wailing, as it bears down on me. I’m alive! I love this, its such a rush, like cliff jumping or sky diving, forget coffee, I’m now awake and ready for my day.
After this adrenaline rush, I realize I’m now hungry. Instead of packing normal food that I would eat anyway if I were home for the day, I decide to purchase snacks, coffee, and the lunch special at the local diner. Knowingly, I place another bucket at the nearest restaurant, soon it fills as full as the bucket under my vehicle. I might need to work on my contract negotiation skills, as I’ve now agreed to one month unpaid for the privilege of driving to my employers location and eating a bit while I’m there.
If only there were still company towns, I could just be a volunteer, and I could eliminate this awkward paycheck routine. Without a paycheck, and living in company housing, I could eliminate the hassles of banking, bill pay, and yard work. That would really free up some family time, which most surely is lacking, as the survey mentions we spend more time in our cars then we do with our spouses and eating dinner with our families. Frankly, that’s just sad, we roar around in metal boxes earning money so we can roar around in metal boxes. Cutting down on the expenses of driving and eating could allow me to take an unpaid month off work, or bank an entire months salary.
I now see the point of the article, and will be getting back on my bike and out of my metal box!