Thursday, June 9

Seeing the Big Picture

Source: via Ida on Pinterest

*disclaimer-- I apologize in advance if you are offended by this picture, it does not necessarily represent my political views, it's just kind of funny.
The other night SSF and I were watching the local news. They reported a story about a group of residents in Harford and Cecil county Maryland that gathered to protest a proposed toll hike. You can read the full story here but if you are more interested in the cliff notes version here it is.

Since 1976 residents of the area have been given the option to purchase a decal at the cost of $10 per year. This decal gave them unlimited accesses to the bridge that connected the counties while all other drivers are subject to a $5 toll. The state (which is raising tolls on all area bridges and tunnels) has proposed to raise the annual fee to $36 and require the use of an ez-pass that has a maintenance fee of $1.50 per month bringing the total annual cost for residents up from $10 to $54. As a result the locals protested citing that an increase in the tolls would negatively impact the local economy.

That is called short-sighted. I would be peeved too if someone told me I would have to pay $54 dollars instead of $10 but lets think about what would happen in the long run. [From my understanding] In the state of Maryland revenues generated from tolls go into a fund that is used to maintain those same bridges and roads. So I'm pretty sure if that same bridge needed repair the residents would demand it be fixed, but where would the money come from if they defeated the proposed toll increases? Maybe it will result in an even bigger toll increase that could of been avoided with the previous one.

It's the same with your finances, you can't just look at the short-term consequences. Every purchase you make big or small has an impact on your long-term ability to save and accrue wealth. You can compare this to those expenses most people prefer to put off like car maintenance or doctors visits. Sure you may be healthy or your car may be running fine, but down the road, those small little investments upfront for things like oil changes and teeth cleanings will save you a whole ton of money in the long run. Sometimes being frugal isn't just about spending the least amount of money as possible it's about spending your money wisely on things that will save you time and money in the future.

And of course, because I love comparing numbers, let's put this toll hike in perspective. SSF travels through the Fort McHenry tunnel everyday to get to work paying $0.80 for a round trip, the residents of the Harford and Cecil counties will pay $0.21 round trip to commute to work. I'd say they are getting a pretty good deal.

What are your thoughts?

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