Paying $7 Per Night for Light

I like to think that I don’t make financial mistakes, but the truth is that I most definitely do. Last week I guest posted on My Next Buck about a big mistake I made when buying a tv and the lesson I learned about paying for value.

This weekend, I made another mistake. The lamp in my room burnt out on Thursday night right before I went to bed and I panicked about what to do. It was a type J Halogen bulb, which are those little skinny bulbs that I’ve never seen in a store, so I quickly went online and ordered a $7 bulb on ebay. I was hoping to get it by Monday and not be without light for too long.

On Friday afternoon, I was in CVS, armed with a $4 off $20 coupon when I saw the lightbulb I needed for $7. I already had $14 in items, so it was an easy choice. I picked up the bulb and went home. I really wanted my light fixed. (It’s so dark in there and I hate it.) I got home, went to get a screwdriver from the drawer, and guess what I found? A type j Halogen light bulb.

Frustrated, I installed the new bulb (it’s very bright and awesome), returned the one I had just bought at CVS, and tried to cancel my ebay order. It was too late and on Saturday my bulb came.

I made two mistakes here: the first one was ordering immediately without doing research. I wanted it as fast as possible, so my solution was to have it shipped? What was I thinking??

My second mistake was being impatient and going on Friday to get a new bulb when I knew one would be coming by Monday. In reality, I was willing to pay $7 for light for an extra night. If I made choice like that every night, I’d be broke.

What if I Always Made Rushed Decisions?

This adventure only cost me about $7, but that money could have gone toward a million different things, and instead it went down the drain. I hope to learn from my mistakes and improve because when buying a house, a rushed judgment like this could cost me a whole lot more.

9 Responses to Paying $7 Per Night for Light

  1. Forest says:

    It’s so easy to make these hasty decisions… It’s just about training yourself to take a step back after every situation I guess… I find this approach stops things from making me angry too (and of course I am also far far far from perfect).

    I enjoyed this post a lot :), reminds me of many times I have screwed up :).

  2. Avi says:

    It seems like this doesn’t really fall into the category of “big stuff” that’s worth sweating. Of course the lesson of avoiding rushed decisions is important, and obviously if a lot of small mistakes are made then it adds up, but have you ever actually made a similar mistake that has cost you more?

    • Daniel says:

      @Avi, Not the light necessarily, and I’m not very concerned about the money. The story is just an example and hopefully I learn my lesson on something small so that when I do have the choices to make large purchases, I at least give myself time to weight the pros and cons.

      There are probably a ton of times when I “could” purchase something big, but I think I always pass on those because they aren’t necessities.

  3. It always seems that I make hasty decisions when it has to do with what I consider “necessities.” I would probably have made the same decision as you, I consider lighting a necessity!

  4. MyFinancialObjectives says:

    Wellll, technically you could still use the eBay bulb for when this once burns out :) Rush judgment in addition to impulse buying is most definitely a killer!

  5. Mrs. Accountability says:

    I’m guilty of doing things like this. I bought a “pretend” ipod lookalike thing from buy.com for my husband and it’s a worthless piece of crap! First one wouldn’t take a charge, second one skips. Third one is on its way, buy.com won’t give me my money back, only allows me to exchange. It was $50. Should have done some research. Dumb decision!

  6. Derek Clark says:

    Ouch that’s rough. I feel your pain, I have a tendency to do stuff like that as well. Like, hmmm I need a new filter for the AC, I can’t remember the exact size, but this one looks right I’ll get it while I’m here. Doh!

  7. Such a good point, but at least you didn’t really waste anything at all…you just have another backup light for the future. :-)

    I’ve made tons of small rushed purchases that seem stupid looking back…luckily it hasn’t cost me much yet.

    Recently, I bought my grandparents an internet gadget they needed and splurged on the one year warranty (I never buy warranties). A few hours later I realized it already came with a 6 month warranty and my Discover Card automatically doubles warranties up to a year. I felt like a dumba$$ that wasted $25. Luckily, the gadget didn’t work as promised, so we got a full refund (including the warranty). Plus, their old gadget started working again, so we spent nothing at all. Yay!

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