When it comes to cutting costs, we know that every little bit counts. That said, there are times when spending money is a non-negotiable, like when safety is involved. For example, one night, we entered the subway station to take a train home—but inside was a sketchy, unstable guy who started ambling toward us. There was only one exit, and we didn’t feel safe. So, we went back up the stairs and took a cab. Your safety is worth a $17 cab fare.
At LearnVest, we never want you to save money at the expense of your own wellbeing. But, we also don’t want you to use safety as an excuse when you’re really just making a choice for convenience.
Here’s how to determine if a situation is truly dangerous (or if we were simply in the mood to take a taxi):
1. Trust Your Fight Or Flight Response
When we’re in situations that make us nervous (whether speaking in front of a group or walking alone in an unfamiliar neighborhood), our palms tend to get sweaty and our heart rate increases. We don’t recommend taking a taxi to escape a public speaking engagement, but if you’re in a threatening situation, your body will usually alert you. Pay attention to those warnings and make choices accordingly.
2. Ask Yourself: Would Your Mom Be Worried?
Are you walking by yourself late at night? Is the street well-lit? Are other people around? Some moms are overprotective, but this is only because they love us. If your mom would tell you to chill out, however, that’s one sign that you might be okay.
3. Know The Difference Between Safety And Convenience
If you’re waiting at a crowded bus stop in a well-lit area, your urge to take a cab may just be the result of tiredness. Convenience is not a bad reason to spend some money, but you should be aware of why you’re spending. Could you avoid an unsafe situation—and unnecessary spending—by choosing a third option? Whether that means walking a couple extra blocks out of the way or driving to a safer-looking gas station, be honest with yourself about your motives.
The most important thing is to take responsibility for your own safety by making smart decisions and planning ahead. If a certain area is less safe after midnight, make sure to leave by 11:30. Careful planning can go a long way toward helping you do what you want to do, without spending more than you should or endangering yourself.
There is no such thing as buyer’s remorse when it comes to the cost of safety.
Follow Lauren on Twitter @LaurenLyonsCole!