The Benefits of Ignorance

SASEBO, Japan (Dec. 18, 2009) Master-at-Arms 3...

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For years, we had a sweet deal with day care. We had three kids and we were the only family with three kids, so we got a bulk discount that essentially made my oldest free.  Compared to the regular price, I think we were paying about ten dollars a week for him to be in daycare, which was great, since he was only there before and after school.

Then he aged out of daycare, and we lost our sweet, sweet deal.

Then the prices went up across the board.

We lost the sweet deal, and then the price went up and our youngest hit the next age bracket.

On the price sheet, the age brackets went from birth to 1, from 1 to 2, and from 2 to kindergarten.  I made the mistake of interpreting that to mean that her fee would change when Baby Brat turned three, not when she turned two.   I’ve been making that mistake since December when the price went up.

A few weeks ago, I dropped off the kids and forgot to pay for the week, so my wife paid when she picked up the girls. When my wife picked up the girls, she noticed that we hadn’t paid. She had no idea how much we needed to pay because she has never been the one that’s been responsible for making the payments.

Our provider added up the cost and found it was $15 per week less than we’d been paying.

When I balanced the checkbook the following weekend,  I noticed that she paid less than our normal rate. We called daycare and now we’re making up for the last 17 weeks of overpayments by paying less each week.  We’re paying about $65 less per week.  When we’re caught up, we’ll be paying $60-75 less per month, depending on the month.

All due to sweet, sweet ignorance. Ignorance really can be bliss. Sometimes when you know what’s going on, you just assume that you’re making the right decision and you’re afraid to ask questions for fear of looking stupid.  If you don’t know, and there’s nothing you should have known, and it’s possible to save quite a bit of money by just acknowledging the fact that you don’t know.

Also, lesson learned: If you’re not sure, ask!  Don’t assume when there’s a  chance your assumption could be costing you money.

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  • 7 comments

    Comments

    1. Great article and I’m glad you found the mistake. You’re absolutely right that at times we are too afraid to ask questions. I think one way of combating this is to reguarly review what you should be paying and what you are paying (as you did through your check book). Many companies will not be so kind as to spot this for you nor should anyone expect them to.

      -Ravi Gupta

    2. That was a sweet deal! We have to put our infant into day care in a few months and we are really dreading it. I knew day care cost a lot of money, but it still going to hurt when we have to write that check.

      • When I was doing my taxes, I ran a report for daycare costs. Before my 4 year old starts school in 2012, I will have paid more than $100,000 to my daycare provider.

    3. It would really bother me if I overpaid! I am glad you found out and corrected it.

      • I was more than a bit unhappy. But, it’s the first time anything like this has happened in 10 years, so it’s really not a big deal.

    4. Yep you have to stay on top of your expenses You can get discounts just about anywhere just by asking.

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