When we arrived in the DC metro a few months ago, we needed a new car. We were only able to bring the family mini van on the road trip from Arizona and I needed to get to work without stranding my family at the hotel we lived in for a month. Not to worry, Craigslist was going to provide me my customary “hoopty” and $1,500 later I’d have wheels of my own, again.
My brother and I decided it was time to start a podcast about a month ago. Sarah got me a great mic for my birthday and has been super supportive. Most of the software to record a podcast is free. Spending cash on a few applications to improve podcast quality and ensure proper recording just wasn’t in the budget. With the time difference (3 hours) and busy schedules, it took far too long to cut our first podcast, but we did it. It wasn’t great, but we recorded and learned a ton.
There are dozens of examples in my life when I went with the quickest and most cost-effective option. Sometimes it works out. For example, my last “beater” car cost me $2,000 and I drove it for 4 years and well past 200k miles, only stopping to change the oil a few times a year. But, more often than not, it doesn’t always shake out that way.
Couple months after buying the hoopty, the head gasket was gone and I found out the car should have been salvaged when the rear-end was smashed in years ago. Something I would have found out if I put in the time and forked over the $40 to get it inspected.
Once I hung up the Skype call with my brother after recording the podcast, the free software crashed. Over an hour of content…gone. Something that could have been avoided with the right redundancies in place and maybe spending a few bucks.
I can’t be too hard on myself and I am sure there are far worse examples. Sometimes circumstances are what they are and the best choice in the moment isn’t the wisest choice over time. Money can definitely be a factor, especially in the early 20s, but I almost always regret not choosing quality over instant gratification.