Friday, June 26, 2009

Frugal Friday: Speeding tickets and mindfulness

My number one frugal tip for this week is this: Don't get speeding tickets.

Earlier this week, I was driving along, on my way to my CSA pick up, listening to the radio and going over in my head my budget, what I was making for dinner, what I needed to review with my tutoring student that evening. All of a sudden, there was a motorcycle cop standing by the side of the road, waving me over.

Startled and confused, I pulled over my car and rolled down my window.

"The reason I pulled you over, ma'am, is because you were speeding."

All I could think to respond was "I was? I am so sorry!" and I really was.

The officer politely nodded, checked my license, said "You were going 38 in a 30, ma'am, and this is a high complaint area," and handed me a $150 ticket. In about 30 seconds, all my careful planning and frugal budgeting went out the window.

So why did it happen? I wasn't in a hurry, I wasn't feeling especially rebellious, I don't particularly like driving fast (and I mean, 38 mph, whoa baby).

It happened because I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing.

Obviously, paying attention when you're driving is crucial, and it could have been a whole lot worse than just a speeding ticket. But giving complete attention to the task at hand is important - and frugal - in almost everything. I can't tell you how many times I've added something incorrect to a recipe and made good food inedible, or picked up something at the grocery store that wasn't part of the sale, or thrown away a form I needed to submit a rebate. When we don't give our tasks the attention they deserve, we make mistakes, and mistakes can cost money.

So my goal for this week is to stop trying to do everything at once and to just do one thing at a time, with the proper attention and mindfulness. And to just slow down - both in my car and in my head.

See more Frugal Friday posts at Life as Mom.


Anonymous said...

The absolute worst are "photo radar" tickets... if anyone is living in a state where these have been utilized as much as in mine, I suggest you move. I had to pay $180 for speeding 11 mph over the limit on a huge interstate highway, about a quarter mile before the speed limit goes up well above what I was driving.

Photo radar has no common sense. Long story short, that killed me and I now only speed 9 mi over the limit.

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