The REALLY Hard Financial Decisions
Sometimes I feel like I should just stop reading other pf blogs. Every day I read about these people having to make tough finance decisions (the green or the black Mini Cooper, fund the 401K or the Roth, to invest their latest $15,000 0% APY balance transfer into t-bonds, or stash it at HSBC) that I simply can’t relate to.
Today, I had to make one of the toughest financial decisions I’ve faced in quite some time: whether or not to continue paying my scarecrow. You see, after the third time in three months that I was robbed at gunpoint while working in my neighborhood liquor store, I was a nervous wreck. I HAD to go to work though, because the bills weren’t going to pay themselves and the debt wasn’t going away on its own. So I came up with a plan. I hired a local indigent to act as a “scarecrow”. His job is simply to sit in front of the store while I’m working. He can do whatever he wants (read, listen to the radio, etc) while he sits there as long as doesn’t drink while working, panhandle, or bother my customers. For this service I pay him between $12 and $20 per night (depending on how long after dark I work). We haven’t been robbed since I hired him over a year ago.
But I’ve cut all the expenses I can find, and still can’t afford to save, so today I had to cut back on his hours. Now he’ll only be “guarding” me two nights a week. This will save me $36/week, $144/month, $1728/year. Not too bad. Of course, it does mean I’m more likely to get shot for the couple of hundred bucks of my boss’ money in the register, but I guess that’s just the price I gotta pay.
The sad thing is that my safety wasn’t what made this such a hard decision to make. I’ll be saving almost 50% of my weekly security expenses, but it’s only a savings of less than 5% of my total weekly expenses. However, to him, it’s a loss of nearly 40% of his entire income. This is going to hurt him a lot more than it’s going to help me, but I feel I owe it to my daughter to do all I can to get some money set aside for her future needs.