Personal Finance Playbook is one of the newest additions to my RSS reader feed. I get his articles delivered when he writes them.
One of the articles made me really think about how far I would go to save money.
In this post, PFP writes about how he was planning a bachelor party. He was planning things the right way because there would obviously be some drinking going on, since he was planning alternative methods of transportation other than driving.
First, I applaud his responsibility in that regard. Always better safe than sorry.
However, the post went on to talk about how he was planning to bypass some of the more traditional methods of transportation in such a circumstance, namely a limo or a taxi.
The reason, both were simply too costly.
Again, more applause to PFP for being frugal in that regard. It sounds like he was planning some fun stuff, but the reasoning was that the ‘getting there’ was less important than the fun of the planned events, so why spend the money?
The alternative, though, to the three ideas listed above (driving, limo, taxi) was given as this. He was planning on hiring someone from Craigslist to drive his car, where they would be (hopefully) fully sober and available for the egal, vening.
Now, I like the idea of turning your own car into a limo / taxi of sorts. Again, cue up the applause for saving money and creative thinking.
BUT, this idea had all sorts of red flags on it. Specifically:
How do you know if the person you hire is a licensed and safe (driving record-wise) driver?
How do you know that they are trustworthy, in that the second the bachelor party heads inside somewhere, that the person doesn’t peel rubber and head to the nearest chop shop?
Or, maybe a little less dramatic, but what if there is damage to the car in some way? What happens then? What if they pull a ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ and take it for a joyride (if the car is joyride-worthy)?
What are the auto insurance liabilities in the event that there is an accident?
What are the medical liabilities in the event that the ‘driver’ was somehow injured?
I don’t know. Maybe I’m just paranoid but there seems like maybe just one too many ‘what if’ situations that could play here.
If it were me, I know that I’d be nervous about all that, even if I decided to go through with it. I’d be peeking around the corner to make sure that the car was just there and that if it was, there wasn’t a group swapping out my battery and tires with those found from a salvage yard.
I’ll be interested to see how this turns out, so hopefully PFP will post a follow-up when and if he decides to go through with this.
I guess, I’d probably consider other alternatives:
I might see if someone I know is willing to fill this role. Granted, depending on the places that they’re going and the ‘pops’ that might be consumed, this might be embarrassing, but I’d still make sure to leave no stone unturned here.
I might see if the costs can be spread around. Most bachelor parties that I’ve attended generally involve people ‘pitching in’ to ensure the fun times of the bachelor. If everybody threw in an extra $5-10 with the argument being that we all get a ’safe and fun time’, this might make the taxi a more feasible idea without putting the burden exclusively on the host.
What do you think? Are there other ideas? Would you consider this? Let me know what you think.