Have you ever stood in a line waiting for a deal? I’m not talking about a 15 minute wait. I’m referring to a more excessive wait time. Think Black Friday lines. Even better, imagine waiting in line for over an hour. Or even multiple hours to save money.
Today was the perfect example, in my book, of when a deal isn’t worth it.
This morning my mom drove to my house, an hour away, to take my daughter to Build-A-Bear‘s Pay Your Age Event. We left the house 30 minutes after opening hours for the store and that was probably our first mistake; or in my opinion a blessing in disguise
When we got there it was CRAZY at the mall. “Mad I tell ya.” The line was massive and was too long to begin with, but my mom still wanted to endure the wait.
We stood in line (more like my mom did while I watched my daughter in the kid’s play area at the mall) to spend $3 on a furry friend from Build-A-Bear for my daughter.
After about 5 or 10 minutes of waiting my mom got out of line (we were second from last in line, so it wasn’t much of a sacrifice) to ask the security guard ahead in the line for an update.
He told her that the store was cutting the line and turning customers away. Guess what we didn’t make it and I wasn’t sad about it.
I’m thankful that I didn’t have to endure that wait. Sure, it was disappointing for my daughter to not be able to go to Build-A-Bear, but we reassured her that we would take her another time. We also took her for a ride on the carousel to lessen the blow.
Luckily for us, we were informed by a kind stranger that we could get a $15 off coupon if we logged into our Bonus Club account. Overall, it was a no harm no foul ending for my family.
“Bear” in mind this is not an ending shared by many who attended or stood in line for this event. Many others had a more negative view of the entire event.
It is times like this that we need to re-examine if and when we should pass up a deal/offer or call it quits. Sometimes the money saved doesn’t justify the time spent or wasted while actively waiting for the deal.
After all, we were about to trade multiple hours (I’m going to guesstimate more than 3) of our life for a $20ish stuffed animal. All in effort to save $17ish. Clearly not a good trade off.
We could have made more working a minimum wage job at $10.50/hour. Not to mention my mother and I individually could have been raking in the dough, since we’re both of working age. Hypothetically, I could have made $31.50 in that predetermined time period. I could have had over $10 left over in play money for myself had I put my time to better use.
On a side note, I’m not looking for a job and enjoy being a stay at home mom at least for the most part. I technically could justify my waiting with, “I’ve got nothing better to do.” But that’s just not true. I could have been doing so many other things. Better things, I can assure you, with my time. Anyway, I’m sure you catch my drift.
It’s not always easy to walk away from a deal. I myself have spent more time than I’d like to admit searching for deals, coupons, and the like to save some money. But moving forward, I would like to continually check in with myself to re-access if “it” is still worth it.
Remember you draw the line. This drawing the line thing may be different for everyone, but I encourage you to take the time to re-examine your situation. Time is money, right?
So the next time you are waiting in a long line or find yourself spending your limited time on this earth on money saving tasks be sure that it is worth your time. You do the math!
What are your thoughts?: What deal(s) have you stood in line for? How long did you wait? & was it worth it?
Tawnya is the founder of The Dancing Dollar, a blog about frugality & personal finance. She writes about how frugal living can help other individuals & families live [happily] below their means. She & her husband are on the path to pay off their home in less than half the time. Click here to learn more.