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An Expensive Lesson – Pay before You Leave


I learned an expensive lesson this trip. When you park at a Premium Parking lot in New Orleans, you must pay before you walk away from your car. You can probably guess that I did not do that…

And after a couple of hours of walking around and enjoying the sights, we came back to continue on our roadtrip to Texas to a boot on our rental car AND a sticker notifying me of a $90 fee to get the boot removed! Ugh!

At first, I thought it was an error. I thought maybe someone who had this rental car before us had not paid something and we were getting held accountable for it. It was very frustrating, especially since we had over 7 more hours to drive that day.

As I read the notice, and realized that we were booted because we had not pre-paid, I began to look around for signs that indicated that prepay was required. This was all I could see from the car…No pre-pay notice.

Needless to say, I had to call the number, pay the $90 and wait for them to come release us. All in all in took over 1 and 1/2 hours from the time we arrived back at the car until we were on the road again. Precious time when you are on a roadtrip, not to mention the money, I had not budgeted for. Again, ugh!

We did finally see a pre-pay notice…on our exit from the lot at the back of the lot!!!

Needless to say, I am going to dispute the charge and file a complaint and praying I can get that $90 back. But no guarantees.

As often as I have flown by the seat of my pants when it comes to finances, this was another lesson on why it is important to have a cushion and plan as much as you can for the unexpected. I was very grateful to have some extra built into my travel budget so this fee did not cause a hardship on the rest of our trip. And in the past, it very well could have!

We all experience car wrecks and car issues, medical emergencies and household challenges that can strain our finances. Have you ever been surprised by something like this that you truly don’t believe you should have to be responsible for?



Happy Black Friday!


Hi friends!

I hope our U.S. friends had a great Thanksgiving yesterday. I’d mentioned in a previous post that it would be my first holiday solo, as the kids would be with their dad. I wasn’t sure how the day would go – I’d expected for it to be difficult. But I ended up doing better than I had expected!

My day started off with a 5k run (not an official Turkey Trot race – just my own personal jog on my favorite trail, and it was a great morning for running as LOTS of folks were out and everyone was feeling generous with smiles, hellos, and “have a happy thanksgiving” wishes).

Next, I came home and wrote up a GIANT To Do List to keep me occupied throughout the day. It contained everything from cleaning to work stuff, to household organization, etc. I get the girls back later this afternoon and am planning to do our “Thanksgiving” today so I also spent a good deal of time prepping for what I’ve called the “Friday Feast!” I made our dessert (a cheesecake instead of a more traditional pie option, just because I wanted it and I figured that’s a good enough reason to deviate from the norm). I also got the turkey fully thawed (it’s been in the fridge for a couple days, but was still pretty frozen so I did the ice bath until thawed), and prepped the side dishes.

It turned out to be an incredibly productive day! I blasted music while cleaning and organizing and had a bit of a dance party for one. Before I knew it, it was nighttime and I hadn’t had a single moment to feel sad or sorry for myself.

If anything, I really enjoyed having the full day to get so much “stuff” done – I went to bed feeling very accomplished and caught-up on work and life “stuff.”

Plus as a bonus of the situation, I’ll be spending all of today in the kitchen cooking, so I won’t be out shopping! Lord knows, I don’t need to be shopping right now, even with Black Friday promotions, etc. Actually, I’ve noticed in recent years that the “Black Friday” promotions have mostly turned into a full week-long thing. Unless there’s one specific rare item that has limited quantities, you can mostly find sale prices throughout then whole weekend so there’s no real time pressure to scoop up “X” item on Black Friday because the promotion, for the most part, continues.

Anyway, I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday with your loved ones.

Did anyone go out to do Black Friday shopping? Any specific item you were trying to find at a good deal?