My October 2013 personal savings rate was 58%.
This is because of two rather large expenses of mine this month, and there is a lesson to be learned from each of them.
Lesson #1: Do not speed.
This month I paid off a speeding ticket given to me in NY in February. I’m not sure if other states are better or worse, but because I was pulled over by a state trooper, NY slapped an additional $125 surcharge on top of what the ticket would have cost otherwise. In addition, to pay online costs a whopping $29 “convenience fee” that in my opinion is predatory, and penalizes procrastinators that wait until the last week to explore their payment options. For some reason they only accept money orders (not even personal checks). Luckily, I was able to get one from my bank for free, and send it off one 46-cent stamp later. Of course this all could have been avoided if I had been more careful driving on the NYS Thruway earlier this year.
Lesson #2: Prevention is cheap.
I had my semi-annual dental checkup last month, and was diagnosed with my first-ever tooth cavities. Six fillings in all. The patient portion of my dental bill was about $250. It was certainly a worthy expense, as is anything related to my health (without your health, what good is money?), but presumably could have been avoided if I took better care and flossed my teeth after every meal. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, they say.
So those were the themes of my October. There were also a few Halloween-related money-saving highlights. In preparation for the holiday, I walked into one of those warehouse-like costume stores that pop up every year, and NOPEd right out of there after seeing the ridiculous prices for the plastic crap they sell. Using my own clothes and a few garments from Goodwill costing less than $20 total, I was able to put together two costumes this year with my special lady.
We also found a haunted corn maze that had shut down for the season, which we explored at night for free. The lurking menace of an angry farmer with a pitchfork chasing us through the towering cornstalks certainly added to the experience. Never forget: fun is free!