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Pay Hundreds Now or Thousands Later


Did you ever have an expense that you knew was coming, but you did nothing about it? I regret to say it, but I did this once, and I paid thousands of dollars out of pocket because of my poor decision. Come with me to my not-so-proud moment in history…

The Volvo

Before I moved to Florida, I purchased a 2000 Volvo S80 Turbo. I absolutely loved this car. It was a large car (which is a good thing, because I’m pretty large (tall) myself), but it still got amazing gas mileage on the highway. Thirty miles per gallon to be exact. Plus, it cruised like a Cadillac. The only downside was that I bought it with 172,000 miles on it, so it was certain to have some problems eventually.

A couple years down the road, the repairs started to pile up. It was never anything serious, but a couple hundred bucks here and there was getting pretty annoying. Then, my coolant tank began to leak, which meant that I had to continually refill the tank or my car would overheat. Rather than fix this issue (among the others that existed), I decided that I was done putting money into my car and would just drive it till it died…

Well that’s exactly what I did… Instead of keep up on the maintenance and selling the car for $2,800, I ignored every single issue, was stranded at the side of the road and got $300 from the scrap yard. Pretty dumb choice huh? We live and learn.

The House

Fast forward a couple of years and I’m faced with a similar dilemma. My sump pump runs often, and if the power ever went out, I’m sure that my basement would be flooded with water in a matter of a few hours. The solution? Buy a generator. The only problem is that the cost of a generator is $400 at minimum. However, if the basement actually did flood at some point in the future, I would most likely be out thousands of dollars (sound familiar??). The unfortunate events of the car were a few years ago, but I definitely haven’t forgotten this lesson. I went out and bought myself a generator. I’d much rather spend the money now and save a tragedy in the future. Think of it as insurance.

Spend the Money Now to Avoid Tragedy in the Future

Do you have anything that’s similar to my story? Perhaps you have a roof leak but you don’t want to spend the $200 to get it fixed. Think about the ramifications of your decision though! If the roof caved in or if mold developed in your house, you could easily be out thousands of dollars. It’s best to suck it up and pay the expense today.

What expenses are you facing today? Will they save you money in the future?



My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. I have a few bills that just came up. Hospital bills, and things for the kids and some things that need to get fixed on our new old home. The bills will get taken care of but the windows need to be replaced on the home. Getting all the windows replaced could cost thousands but every month we wait our electric bill climbs so we may have to swallow the pill and get them taken care of. Funny I live in Fl and drive a volvo as well. They are actually good on gas but they go through tires like no tomorrow.

    • Yup. The windows are a perfect example. If you notice that your bills are continually creeping up and up, it’s probably time to get those suckers replaced. It’s going to be a fairly large up-front cost, but it will pay itself back within a few years for sure.

  2. I am on the fence right now with an AC repair. The unit is still working, but with some issues. The repair company just keeps coming out to repair another piece with no idea what is wrong. I don’t know if I want to pony up the cash to keep going down this route, but if it finally goes, it will be costly.

    • That is a tough one. You hate to keep getting nickeled and dimed to death, but you don’t want to shell out the big bucks either. If it’s not too expensive each time, I would say limp along while you can and possibly find a good deal on the entire unit in the near future.

  3. Wassup Sump Pump?

    Sorry, that was terrible.

    In brief, the HVAC system in my home does not keep one of my son’s room cool enough in the summer so I think we’re running the unit a little more than we would need to if this was corrected.

    Would be expensive, but maybe worthwhile?

    • Perhaps it would be better to get a window A/C unit in his room rather than cooling the entire house those extra few degrees?

  4. This post completely makes sense. Sometimes we take for granted the things we need to fix and just hope that the situation would improve. Its much better to fix them immediately rather than taking that risk of spending more.

    • Yep. I have been guilty of just turning up the radio and ignoring the terrible sounds my car is making, but just because I can’t hear it doesn’t mean that the problem went away! Lol. Best rule of thumb is to just get it fixed.

  5. I think you learned a very good lesson on your car. I’m glad you made the choice to pay now than later. 🙂

    • I think so too. Thanks for the comment Mark!

  6. When we built our house, we were pretty tapped out by the end. Right before we moved in, a neighbor’s house was struck by lightning and they lost all of their electronics and appliances and had to have a big portion of the wiring redone. Since our house is higher than theirs and we get lots of electrical storms, we ponied up an extra $4K to have a lightning rod installed.

    I have no idea if our house would have been hit or not, but I like to think it was a smart move. Other houses have had similar problems with lightning, but we’ve never had anything go out.

    • Sounds like you averted the electric shock to me, considering how often your neighbors have gotten hit. Great example!

  7. Sorry to hear about the Volvo. 🙂

    I know we bought our generator at The Christmas Tree Shop … yes I know that sounds strange, but the generator has the same output as what we would have if we had bought it at Home Depot for about $100 less.
    I still have yet to start it since our ground absorbs a lot of water, probably since we don’t irrigate it and the water doesn’t build up on the surface as the ground dries up. My next door neighbor has a flash flood warning in his background every time it rains a decent amount and he only has the front yard irrigated.
    I only bought the generator to save any loss of food in our refrigerator and full upright freezer. Just one use will have more than paid for itself in loss of food.

    • Very true Chris. One use and it has definitely paid for itself! Over the course of the next 10 years, I’m sure I’ll have to get the generator out and use it.

  8. I don’t like to take my chances with repairs that might lead to something more drastic. Better to take care of the issue before it becomes a major problem.

    • Well said Luke. It is best to avoid those major bills if possible, especially when it only costs a couple hundred bucks today vs. thousands of dollars in the future.

  9. If you can solve your problem now, do it as soon as possible. Don’t wait for the problem to become worse before you make your move. You’ll just regret it.

    • I agree with you Marissa. It’s not always the easiest decision to make though, especially if you don’t have very much money in the bank.

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