When Being Cheap Backfires – My Hotel Mistake

When Being Cheap Backfires - My Hotel MistakeWe are currently on another road trip to Colorado. We are attempting to climb and summit a few mountains, but we also want to explore different areas we may want to move to.

Since we have been going on so many trips lately, I have been looking for different ways to save money. I am a personal finance blogger after all, so that only makes sense.

So, I found a place the other day. We have been booking everything as we go, and since it was Labor Day weekend, nearly everything was already sold out or extremely overpriced. I found a hotel for $80 a night, and we only wanted to stay there for two nights. Our total damage was $160.

It was a great price when compared to the other places I found in the area for Labor Day weekend.

However, the cheap price was the only good thing about this place. Below are some of the bad things about this place:

  • The room smelled very bad. Like a dead person… I wish I was exaggerating but it is the truth. We couldn’t breathe because it was so bad and at one point I even had to put my shirt over my nose.
  • The room next door had their door wide open. My dog almost ran inside, so I peaked in and I was horrified. It was filled almost to the ceiling with trash bags and garbage. There was also a crazy pile of shoes that was around four feet high and six feet wide.
  • There was a blood stain and splatters about a foot wide on the carpet right in the middle of our room. It was impossible to miss.
  • There were multiple hairs all over the bed and on the pillows. This means nothing was washed or cleaned when we went in.
  • There were BIG stains all over the bed. Talk about wanting to barf everywhere.
  • The fridge in the room had food stains all over it. It was absolutely disgusting.
  • The pillows were stained yellow.
  • There were multiple brown stains on the wall.
  • The door and window both did not lock. This was scary considering I would be working from the room a lot alone since Wes had plans to do other things.
  • We saw several other people enter their room, only to leave seconds later and not come back.
  • They claimed they had good wifi, but there was not a single person at the hotel and I still couldn’t get a single thing to load. Keep in mind this is important because I work from my laptop.
  • They also claimed they were pet friendly, but when we arrived I noticed that there was no grass. When I asked the person at the front desk, she said there was a park just right around the corner that we could go to with no problem. Well, it turned out the park was four looooong blocks down a busy street and there was no sidewalk there. This meant I had to walk four blocks down a busy street with two dogs and then cross this busy street where there were no sidewalks (not even a curb), streetlights, stop signs, or anything. That is just too dangerous and mean for me to do to my dogs multiple times a day.
  • Lastly, someone claimed they saw a ghost in their room and they panicked. Haha this still makes me laugh but it made me wonder what kind of crazy people were at this hotel.

Wow, it’s just scary writing about everything we saw in the one hour we were there.

We checked in, left to grab something to eat, got back to the room and immediately started finding another place to stay.

At first, I was extremely upset that I prepaid for this place. However, since this was a “vacation,” staying in a place where we literally wanted to throw up just wasn’t going to work.

When Being Cheap Backfires - My Hotel Mistake

Imagine something similar to this, except the bed was “made.”

I found another hotel and booked it as soon as I could. I then walked into the front desk to the gross hotel we were at and checked out immediately.

And this is how being cheap backfired on me. I didn’t want to spend an extra $50 a day in order to stay somewhere “normal” and instead I ended up wasting $160 and a few hours because we couldn’t bare to stay in that hotel for more than a few hours.

I know there are others who are fine with staying anywhere and they only care about having a place to sleep, but I just could not do it. I thought about it for a slight second just because of the money I’d be wasting, but then I realized how crazy that sounded.

Luckily enough, the person checking me in at the next hotel asked where we just came from and how our day was. I explained our horrific story and how I was so glad that they had room for us at their much better hotel. He said he could NOT BELIEVE where we came from and that he knew we must have been horrified because we were actually not the first person who did the exact same thing we did (check in at the bad hotel, only to leave and go to his hotel). He then said he added a discount to our stay and that it was no problem. I told him he didn’t need to but he insisted. Isn’t that awesome?!

Anyway, here are my tips to avoid making a costly mistake like I just did:

 

Read the reviews.

I am a serial review reader, so I can honestly say that I read numerous reviews about this hotel. The reviews weren’t the greatest, but it sounded like a lot of people were just used to luxury hotels so I ignored them.

OH MY GOD was that a huge mistake.

From now on, I will always trust bad reviews, especially when there are a ton of them.

 

Compare the pricing.

The other hotels in the area were about $50 more per night. I thought I didn’t want to spend that, so that was the main reason we booked the BAD BAD BAD hotel.

In the end, the $50 extra per night was well worth it.

We received a clean room, a fantastic dog walking area and even a trail along a river to walk our dogs, fast wi-fi, breakfast in the mornings that was actually good, good customer service, and more. We also feel much safer here.

 

Think about how badly you want to save money.

I thought that since it was only two days, that I wouldn’t really care about how cheap the place was. I thought for $80, that the hotel couldn’t possibly be THAT bad, because $80 still isn’t dirt cheap. Considering I’ve stayed in nice hotels in the Caribbean and Florida for around $100 a night, I thought an $80 hotel would be somewhere near average.

Nope, I was wrong. I couldn’t make it an hour so there was no way I would have been able to make it two days.

I didn’t want the savings that bad and I realized that once we arrived at the hotel. This hotel should have been no where near $80 a night. I think it should have been one of those $29.95 highway motels that I often see.

 

Has being cheap backfired on you recently? How much money did you lose?

 

Images via Flickr by TaxRebate.org.uk and Nitram242

Easy Ways I’m Currently Saving $1,200 Each Month

Easy Ways I'm Currently Saving $1,200 Each MonthLately, we’ve been trying to save as much money as we realistically can.

We’re not doing anything too crazy, but we are trying to make a few lifestyle changes so we are not frivolously wasting money that doesn’t need to be spent.

We are mainly trying to save money so that we can put a large down payment on our next home. We also want to start investing more heavily and take more trips.

We’re saving money in many other different ways besides just the ones below. However, the ones below are areas we are primarily trying to work on and they equal a total savings of around $1,200 a month right now.

 

We’re eating out less.

I’ve talked about this in the past, but I’ve never really dived into this topic too deep because I’ve been ashamed. While we are spending no where near the ridiculous amounts of money that we used to spend on going out to eat, just a few months ago we were still not doing very well.

I estimate we are currently saving around $500 a month by not eating out as much over just a few months ago.

We have been able to cut down on eating out less by eating at home as much as we can. Of course that would be the case, but it’s really been meal planning and less food waste that has really helped us cut down on our food spending.

We now shop with a grocery list and stick to the grocery list as much as we can. We have no where near the amount of food waste we used to have. I believe I once read a statistic that said the average family throws away around 40% of the food they buy.

That’s a TON of food waste!

 

We’re cleaning out our pantry.

Our pantry and cabinets are nearly bare because of this one. We have been making meals out of the food products we already had in our pantry. I was sick of our pantry continually building up more and more. We had cans and boxes of food filled in our cabinets, so I made it our mission to finally start eating everything.

I’m sure some of you are laughing at this, but I know there are a LOT of you out there who are guilty of this as well.

At one point I believe we had around 5 different packages of spaghetti noodles in our pantry. That didn’t include the other 10 different kinds of pasta noodles we had in there as well. We also had cans of vegetables and everything else in there. It was ridiculous and it seemed like it was never ending.

Now though, I believe we only have a few cans left and we actually have NO pasta left. It’s like a whole new world here!

I believe we have probably saved around $100 by doing cleaning out our pantry. Seems like a lot but we had a lot of food in there, and I’m sure you do as well.

 

We have a fuel efficient car.

Last month, we got rid of our Camaro and traded it in for a 2015 Subaru Legacy. The Legacy was more affordable and it gets twice as good gas mileage, which is amazing.

We were tired of having two cars that only got 15 miles to the gallon (our other car is a Jeep Wrangler), so we decided to trade in the Camaro.

This switch has been saving us around $350 per month already.

We are about to go on another road trip, and driving the Subaru will save us around $400 on this trip alone. That is a GREAT amount in savings.

 

We’re thinking about cutting out our cable completely.

This is one we haven’t fully done yet, but we did recently lower our cable package. We cut some channels out and were able to save $20 each month. If we were to cut it further, we could save around an extra $40 a month.

The reason why we are thinking about cutting our cable is because we hardly ever watch it now that we have Netflix. We signed up for Netflix around two months ago and haven’t really watched anything else.

This means a potential overall savings of around $50 a month from cutting our cable and adding Netflix to our lives.

 

I’m on a unexpected clothing fast.

I haven’t been trying to lower my clothing spending, it just happened. I honestly can’t even remember the last time I bought any clothing for myself. I’m going to guess that it’s been around 5 months.

I’ve been to the mall a few times, but nothing ever seems to work so I just haven’t bought anything. Also, working from home means I’ve been a little lazy when it comes to finding fun outfits to wear.

I’m going to guess that this unplanned clothing fast has saved me around $200 each month.

Oh yeah, and I also sold some clothing the other day and made $40. I plan on also donating around 6 bags full of clothing as well. WOOHOO!

 

How are you currently trying to save money?

How much money do you think you save each month?

 

Do You Have Life Insurance?

Do You Have Life Insurance?

This is my family :)

According to the insurance research firm LIMRA, life insurance ownership is at its lowest point in over 50 years. This is a crazy statistic considering that approximately 44% of those who took part in the survey said they don’t have enough money to pay for expenses if their loved one were to pass away suddenly.

This study also reported that around 30% of households do not have life insurance at all.

One major task I have failed at since leaving my day job in 2013 is finding life insurance. When I had my day job, I had a small amount of life insurance provided and paid for by my employer. Nothing crazy, but I never looked any further into it at that time.

Now that I work for myself, I have no life insurance and that is something I would like to change, especially since we plan on having children in the next few years.

Even though finding life insurance is something I think about a decent amount, I actually haven’t done anything to start this process.

 

When does a person need life insurance?

Okay, not everyone needs life insurance. However, most do.

If you are single, have no debt, and no one depends on you, then you probably don’t need life insurance.

But, just because you are single doesn’t mean you don’t need it. If you have debt and have co-signers on your debt, then you should absolutely have life insurance. This is because if something were to happen to you, you don’t want your co-signer (it could be your parents, siblings, etc.) to have to be stuck paying your debt because you didn’t think of a plan.

I recently read a true story about a young adult who did not have life insurance. They passed away suddenly and left their student loan debt behind to their parents, who were her co-signers. They were left with monthly payments on her student loans of nearly $2,000 a month…

Also, if someone depends on you, such as a spouse, elderly parents, or children, then you definitely want life insurance as well. You want your loved ones to be taken care of if something were to happen to you, correct?

Do You Have Life Insurance? 3

What do I need to do to find the right life insurance for me and my family?

The other day, I heard about a company called Quotacy. They have a great looking website, so I won’t lie, that helped draw me in.

The website is really easy to use. All you do is click on over to “Get Started” on their website. Then, they ask for a little bit of information (such as your zip code, gender, etc.) and then you press “View Your Quote.”

They have easy to use sliders where you can adjust the duration of your coverage and the policy value so that you can try to find a monthly premium that works best for you.

After that, they ask some routine medical questions and then policies from various companies pop up on your screen. This is so that you can find different life insurance policies and how much your monthly premium varies from company to company so that you can find your best price.

Quotacy will take a second look at your online submission, and shop the market one more time to ensure you’re getting the best price. If they find a better one based on your unique lifestyle or health characteristics, they will communicate this with you, and let you decide which company to apply for. The insurance company you select will then review your application, and make the final approval before it goes into affect and Quotacy will keep you informed every step of the way.

Do You Have Life Insurance? 2

Some of the great things about this website include:

  • Quotacy doesn’t require you to log in or register in order to see estimated pricing.
  • Everything is VERY easy to understand.
  • It’s very quick to use and you can get an estimated quote in one minute.
  • They have an awesome blog that can help you understand life insurance better.

 

Do you have life insurance? Why or why not?