By KATE HUNTER
It’s hard to decide whether tyres or termite control top my list, but I’m going with tyres as the process of getting them fitted irks almost as much as the expense.
At least when the termite man comes I don’t have to sit in a lounge reading the August 2008 issue of ‘On Four Wheels’ and drinking frothy Cafe Bar tea.
I don’t mind spending money per se. I’m reasonably good at it. Much better than saving, in fact, but I do like to have something to show for it. Not show off – no one wants to see my groceries, but shelling out cash for invisible, unattractive things that you may or may not even need, pains.
Termite control is a good example. It is the FEAR of something that makes you pay up. The feeling that the year we miss the inspection will be the year our home will crumble like meringue and we’ll end up on A Current Affair, crying and telling other families, ‘don’t let this happen to you.’
There’s also school shoes. I was brainwashed as a child by that ad for Clark’s in which an ominous voiceover warned, ‘A badly fitting school shoe can do lifelong damage to this little foot.’ Yikes. So although Aldi sells what I’m sure are fine shoes for under $10 a pair, fear of my kids growing up with munted geisha-feet saw me shelling out $300 for three pairs of shoes that AREN’T EVEN PRETTY.
There are other items on my ‘grudge spend’ list. They include:
1. Dental work. Painful both literally and metaphorically.
2. Vet bills. My grandpa had a dog called Spotty who lived to 16 and never had a checkup, vaccination, wore a tick collar or had flea treatment tablets. I left the vet last week $200 poorer and had NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT. The dog wasn’t even sick, but who wants to risk kennel cough?
3. Weird things when the car gets serviced. What does it mean, exactly, when my brakes need ‘machining’? Is ‘machining’ even a word? Is it a new thing? I don’t remember my parents ever worrying about unmachined brakes. I suspect mechanics are giggling about this over their iced coffees every day, ‘Hey, there’s another chick who’s fallen for the machining thing again.Bloody hilarious.’
4. Hairdressing. When did this get SO expensive and why is it increasingly necessary to have a ‘colourist’ as well as a ‘cutter’? And how much better is a senior anyway? It’s the fear factor again, ‘Well sure, you can save a few bucks if you’re happy to a have a JUNIOR have a crack with the scissors. Under supervision, of course’ Gulp, no thanks.
5. Water. Happy with tap. Delighted in fact, so please, waitstaff, don’t sneer if I ask for it.
6. A surcharge for using ANY credit card at a hotel. SERIOUSLY? You really expect cash in this day and age? No, of course you don’t. It’s just a nice way to take another clip.
That’s my little rant for today. Your turn now.
What are the things you resent spending money on?