As I get older, I find that I’m becoming more demanding when it comes to my money. I never used to be the sort of person who complained, but suddenly, I am that person.
I don’t mean that I’m a grumpy complainer who demands things that I absolutely don’t deserve. But I’m less likely to accept a sub-standard product or sub-standard service. Last week, when apartment maintenance came in to inspect my smoke alarms and tracked clods of dirt onto my carpets, I called to complain. Of course, I just received an apology there, but if it doesn’t happen again, I will be satisfied.
Sometimes, however, there is more than an apology. You know how some stores have a 100% satisfaction guarantee? Have you ever tested them? A few weeks ago, I bought a pair of boots from REI. After two wearings, one of the seams was coming loose. Now, I did my research and knew that this was supposed to be a high quality product to begin with so I e-mailed REI. I immediately received a response indicating that they have 100% satisfaction guarantee, and I could either return them for a full refund or exchange for a new pair. I could take them to a store, or if I wanted to mail them, they would send me a UPS return label so that I would not have to pay the shipping. I opted to take them to the store because I wanted my replacement boots as quickly as possible, and the person I worked with couldn’t have been nicer. Of course, they didn’t have the boots in the store, but they were shipped to me and this pair looks great.
When I first noticed the seam issue, my initial reaction was to think about how I could fix the problem. Sewing it? Glue? But wait, these are new and should be better quality. Maybe REI will give me a new pair. And they did.
While I don’t plan to become a complainer, I am going to quit sitting back and start doing what I can to get what I paid for.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.