Survived my gold plated bone scan the other day only to confirm the same injury that my GP had already diagnosed for free. To be honest I was relieved that there was actually something to see, as I could just imagine Noel's face if I had returned home to tell him that I had shelled out hundreds of dollars for a scan that didn't find anything! As it was, he couldn't believe that I had broken anything - how can you break your leg and not know, he reasoned? Nonetheless, my scan did indeed show a large white blob, so I breathed a sigh of relief that my trip had not been in vain. I breathed an even bigger sigh of relief when they told me I would 'only' be charged $400 for the procedure, rather than the $550 I had been told to expect.
It doesn't matter how diligent you try to be when saving money, sometimes rotten luck just comes your way and undoes all the good you've done - and then some! Take me and my neighbour Maxine. Both of us are trying hard to be good Simple Savers, but in the space of a few days we've been dealt some cruel blows. First my leg, then the dog's leg, then Maxine's oven blew up over the weekend, resulting in having to purchase a new one and to top it off, the small windscreen chip she went to get fixed today proved rather more expensive than planned, requiring an entire new windscreen costing over $500. Why do these things always happen around Christmas too? I guess there's never a good time, but the festive season in particular always seems to go hand in hand with some other huge unforeseen (and totally non-festive) expense. In our case, there's no getting around it either. Stoves, windscreens and legs are very boring things to pay out for but unfortunately rather necessary.
It's not been all bad though, we've managed to still make some good savings in the last week. Maxine had her heart set on a lovely new dining table and chairs on Trade Me at the weekend and was determined not to miss out on her bargain. However, as the end of the auction was drawing near, it was becoming clear that there was far more interest in the table than she would like. If there's one thing I hate it's losing an online auction, so we decided to get together and double the bidding power. As the auction reached its last couple of minutes, the bidding started going mad - time to bring in Penny the auction sniper! With Maxine bidding on her computer and me on mine, the other bidders didn't stand a chance and we still managed to nab the table without going over budget. I don't know which one of us was more excited!
I also saved myself what I was expecting to be another large expense the following day. My CD writer hasn't been working properly for almost two years and had finally decided to give up the ghost, going so far as to tell me it didn't even exist! This really annoyed me as I had been browsing the Savings Vault looking for economical gifts to send overseas and there were some terrific personal ideas in the Christmas Gifts section that I was really keen to try out, but they involved using CD's and I needed my CD writer to work. I had tried everything before now to get the darn thing to work, including buying every imaginable type of blank CD in the hope that at least one would prove to be compatible and do the trick, but they always got spat out. I spent half the afternoon giving my computer a good clean out and tweaking things (don't do this unless you know what you're doing!) but still no luck. I was just bemoaning the fact to Noel that I would either have to get my computer sent away, or worse still have to buy a new CD writer, when I decided to give it one more go and reinstall the hardware. Now this may sound like it should have been a first port of call to some of you, and indeed it was - I had already done this twice before, with absolutely no effect whatsoever. Call it third time lucky, but my perseverance paid off and I am now the proud owner of a glitch-free CD writer in perfect working order! I spent the rest of the afternoon happily compiling my Christmas CD's using ideas from the Vault. They cost me all of around a dollar each and I know the relatives and folks overseas will love them and appreciate the effort - even if they don't realise just how much effort was needed to get them done in the first place!