Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sometimes, It Just Works Out

I've been frustrated by the cost of glasses, as you know. I know I have a "large" prescription which necessitates thicker lenses. But "sales" are not "sales" when the only thing on "sale" is the frame and I don't give a rat's patoot about saving 50% on a $75 frame. That's not going to get the cost of glasses down.

So, I get my JCPenney bill yesterday and there is a flyer for 2 pair of glasses for $99 INCLUDING no-line bifocals. "There has to be a catch," thinks I, but I should go see. There was a catch. The selection is limited and, because I work on the computer, no-line bifocals will cause me problems with reading.

Therefore, I have to get progressive lenses. I know what this does. It jacks up the price exponentially. I told the gal that price is the biggest issue in purchasing glasses. If the price isn't good, I won't buy glasses. She understood.

I found a couple pair I liked and we priced them out. Folks, I am getting TWO pair of glasses for $254, including tax. This is $10 LESS than anywhere I'd been able to find for ONE pair, without taxes. I don't want fancy lenses; just give me some which meet my script.

They should be here next week.

I did not have to dip into my Disney fund to get these. I could put the purchase on my JCPenney card. I am still paying off the fridge, which I got during at no-interest for 18 months promotion. The fridge will be paid off in May, way ahead of the 18-month ending. If I take a couple months to pay off the glasses, I'm still way ahead and puts these much, much cheaper than any place I'd found.

An additional benefit is qualifying for the "frequent buyer" program which rewards people with a coupon based on how much they spend. It's been a good year for that, for me. I'll have another coupon to use, thanks to this purchase. I need a fitted sheet to go with the flat sheet I have, but Penneys doesn't have any kind of selection. I'll have to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond for something like that.

The other financial shock of the week was a rate increase on my car insurance. I get that my rates would go up when I bought the Malibu. But when I opened the notice I get telling me State Farm would be deducting x amount from my account on the 28th, the rate had gone up $12. This put it over $100 a month. Shocked, I called my agent. He could not give me a reason for the increase. "Well, you did buy a newer car," he stammered. "Rates go up for a time until the car gets beyond a certain age, then they go down." Wha...? This is a 2011 we're discussing here, not a 2016. I don't have any tickets and have not been in an accident. Why is my rate going up? Realizing I wasn't going to get a straight answer, I thanked him and decided I needed to look around.

Now, I equate buying insurance with the same noxiousness of buying a car. I can't help feel that, if the person selling me insurance had better skills, they wouldn't be selling insurance. I know that's not true and if they didn't sell insurance, there would be really smarmy people who would, but I've felt talked down to by agents so my opinion of them is low. This increase forced me out of my comfort zone to check online for rates. My rates had been going up by a dollar or two a month. This put the effective rate increase at 18% since buying the Malibu in July. There is just not a justification for it.

Well, Progressive is always touting their low rates, let's look. I didn't go anywhere else. I'm saving 50% on my car insurance. Between now and September, that's an additional $300 in my pocket; in my Disney savings. It's the exact same coverage. Plus, Progressive is insuring the house. That rate went down $20. "We have an $80,000 replacement guarantee," the agent said. I looked around my house. I don't have $80,000 worth of stuff I'd want replaced, but that's nice to know.

I've been in a private funk since trying to find glasses. It has colored this whole month. How can I make the ends meet when there's always something I have to throw money at to fix? Life has a way of forcing me out of my comfort zone and that is, sometimes, good for me.

JCP is closing 138 stores around the country as the retail industry deals with a massive customer shift in how they shop. I'm one of those who has shifted to doing more online than in brick and mortar stores. The "mall" concept is dying. I enjoy poking around in downtowns with mom and pop stores instead of the mall and I do a lot of shopping online. It's not unexpected that JCP is facing this reality by closing stores.

There is laughter at JCP, too. "Old fogey store", I've heard it called. Well, this old fogey bought a fridge in the perfect size for me and now glasses from JCP. Finding glasses has made my day and my whole month.

Beverage:  British Breakfast Tea


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