Want to hear a funny story? It wasn’t very funny at the time, but now, a few days later, I can laugh about it. More importantly, I can share it with you as a warning to make sure you are prepared.
I work pretty long days at work, standing almost the entire time. As such, I usually want to take my boots off as soon as I get in the car to go home, and would rather not put them on until the last-minute either. So I take my boots off in the car and there they wait for me until I am ready to put them on again the next morning once I arrive at my job site. It is an arrangement that has worked flawlessly all year long. That is to say, until this week.
Friday, I was on my way to work when I got the call that it had been canceled. I was expecting that. After all, there was an inch of snow on the ground. Luckily, I had forgotten to set my alarm and had overslept; I hadn’t gotten that far yet.
When I got home, I decided I might as well put good use to all the warm clothing I was wearing and shovel my driveway. I probably shouldn’t have bothered. It got into the upper 40’s that day and all the snow not in shaded areas had melted by mid-day. But I laced up my boots and got it taken care of. Then I went inside and took my boots off.
Fast forward to Saturday. I drove to work (a 70 minute drive to this job site, way out in the rural Eastern Plains of Colorado). I parked and went to put on my boots. Which weren’t there. They were still in my house 40 miles away. I had to drive to the local Walmart to buy a new pair. Of course, when you are out in the country, local is a relative term. The nearest store was almost 20 minutes away. I felt kind of silly walking into the store in socks and hoped no one would notice and kick me out for not having shoes on.
While their prices are cheap, Walmart isn’t the best place in the world to find shoes if you have even moderately large feet. I’m a 9 1/2, but have extremely wide feet and for non-custom-made shoes, I typically have to wear a size 11 1/2. Walmart’s cheapest pair of boots only went up to size 10. They had no half sizes larger than 10 for any shoe I saw. I got the second cheapest boots in a size that was just a bit too large, put them on and paid at the register.
I got to work 45 minutes late and wound up working a 14 hour shift in new shoes. My feet hurt by the time I got home! I’m so glad I had the next day off.
So what did Walmart’s second cheapest pair of boots cost me? $26.43 including tax. Pretty cheap, considering. But I just made a huge payment towards my credit card balance and I wasn’t expecting to have any expenses until my student loan payment today. The linked savings account is just about drained as well. I had to empty the rest of it down to a few pennies to cover my student loan payment. I’m probably going to have to dip into my emergency fund to buy gas later in the week.
So, moral of the story: be prepared. Before you leave, don’t assume that you have everything that you need. Check instead.
As an added check, if your budget supports it, get extra to store in case of emergency. I couldn’t in good conscience return the boots after wearing them, so instead, I’ll be keeping them in the trunk of my car. That way, if I ever do wind up forgetting my shoes again somehow, I’ve got a spare pair.
Do you double check everything before you leave? Do you keep spares of anything in your car in case something is forgotten?