Time is at such a premium these days that I just pay the little “convenience” fees that I used to refuse to pay out of principle.
It started with me deciding it wasn’t worth it to drive to a farther gas station just to not get hit with an extra fee for using my credit card rather than cash. (And I haven’t carried cash with me in over a decade, so I definitely wasn’t going to start. Plus, with cash the signs say you have to pre-pay for gas which means either overestimating or not getting a full tank.)
Then I started telling DH to just pay the “convenience fee” for electronic tickets at the movie theater rather than having to stand in line to pick them up.
Then I started paying our insurance with a credit card online instead of writing a check. (Though they’ve since dropped that fee. Yay.)
And mailed checks for all our small state taxes like car registration renewal instead of standing in line at the courthouse. (Though maybe we’ve been dong this one for years…)
I’m not sure how I feel about this. I mean, from an economics standpoint, they’re chipping away at my customer surplus through price differentiation, but it’s also rationally worth it to me to pay for the privilege of not jumping through their hoops.
And it’s true that these little fees add up. But they add up to a dollar here or a dollar there. Far less than the latte factor.
If we were making less money, every dollar would count. But these dollars just don’t count anymore. And our time and the hassle factor are just worth so much more to us. This is another way it’s really nice to be upper-middle class. A year of these fees is less than an hour of work. Even saved and invested they’re not going to matter in the long-run.
Do you pay convenience fees? If so, when did you start? Do you notice convenience fees?