Spend to Save: Spare Keys

There are many places in life where you have to spend some money up front in order to save money in the long run.  Insurance, home maintenance, quality foods, an energy efficient dishwasher.  One small thing that can make your life easier and less expensive is having duplicate keys made, and even having more than you actually need.

Once upon a time, a young sailor was going out on the ship for a few weeks.  He parked his car in a perfectly fine place along the sea wall, and thought nothing of it.  This was pre-internet, and telephone calls, and neither the sailor nor his bride considered that anything could go wrong.  It was a common practice and something that the sailor had done many times.

During his absence, the bride was mowing the lawn when her keys fell out of her pocket and were run over by the lawn mower.  Still not a problem, as they could make a duplicate of her husband’s car key upon his return.

And then came the hurricane.  The base decided that it would be best if all the cars were removed from the seawall.   As a result, the bride had to have the car towed.  It was a hassle and an unnecessary expense.  All for the want of a spare key.

I thought of that story today as I dropped my husband off at the train station.  He handed me his car key and said, “That’s the only key.”  Um, no pressure there.

The cost to make a replacement key is high because every part of cars has gotten expensive.  However, the cost to NOT making a spare key could be even higher:  getting stranded, having the car towed, having the ignition replaced.  Really, none of those situations sound fun to me.

So, here’s my tip of the day.  Round up your keys:  car, house, and anything else you might need.  Take a trip to the hardware store or car dealership, and get those duplicates made.  Keep a complete set somewhere safe in your house.  This is one of those things that is sort of like insurance.  If you have the spares, you will probably never need them.  Wouldn’t that be awesome?  If you don’t have the spares, something is sure to come up, and it won’t be fun.

Learn from my mistakes, folks!

 

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.