Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Hidden Costs Behind the Free Gifts

I was thinking about this as I marched through Walgreen's picking up several packages of Double A and Triple A batteries. (They are "buy one, get one free" this week.) Once the grandkids run through these batteries for their electronic Christmas gifts, their parents will be stuck supplying the "free" gifts with expensive batteries.

And then there's Grace. My baby sister is paying for my interiors to be painted--it's an expensive and welcome gift. BUT. . .

Who knew all the hidden costs?

For example--the drapes in the master bedroom. I've been here sixteen plus years and have never done more than occasionally vacuum them. But when I took them down for the painters (and recovered from the dust-induced sneezing fit), it was painfully obvious that they needed a professional cleaning. How is it I have survived 59 years on this planet and didn't know that dry cleaners charge by the pleat for draperies? Two sets of clean drapes later, I am out $180!

It also turns out that once the closet doors were painted, their hardware looked shabby. For a mere $48, I combated shabbiness throughout the bedrooms!

Yes, I love my free gift. I'm just a tad less enamoured of the unexpected expenses that came along with it.


Anonymous said...

Rechargable batteries. That's the secret.

What no carpet repair/cleaning/replacement? What about the couch/chair/table/furniture/lamps???? Do they all go with the new paint job?

It's an endless quest, isn't it? LOL.

lu3 said...

You are speaking to me. I received the gift of a car from my 93-year-old father-in-law who decided it is time to give up driving himself. I am thrilled to have a 2000 Neon with 116,000 miles on it. It is newer than our other two cars -- but in the past 3 days, I have spent $149.50 for registration and tags; $615 for new tires, alignment, and an oil change; $274 to correct the leaking gasket on the transmission and flush and fill the transmission fluid; and $113 to insure it for the next six months. I was not prepared for any of this.

Fortunately, I had already prepared my grown daughters for a reduced Christmas this year, because now it is a necessity!

Momthing1 said...


Will you be selling the car you were driving before FIL gave you his neon?

Debtfree2009 said...

Batteries!!! While picking up presents for the local toy drive, we made sure that nothing needed batteries. If someone can't afford presents they probably can't afford batteries either.

lu3 said...

The car I was driving before is a '96 GEO Prizm (183,000 miles)that I share with my 24-year-old daughter who will be moving to her own apartment on Dec. 26 and taking it with her. It still runs OK enough for her to use for grocery runs around town, but is not really sound enough for long distance driving any more.