Ollie finds a lesson in the all-you-can eat buffet
On holiday in Florida Solo Expenses user Ollie sees places others could benefit from using the app in a number of ways. Sitting in a restaurant he and wife Lizzie agree that their experiences of it could make a significant difference to the life of their four-year-old daughter Alice. Now read on…
“But there’s such a lot of food,” said Ollie, for the third time that day. “These all-inclusive packages must be costing the holiday companies thousands!”
“You don’t have to eat it all,” said his wife Lizzie, reasonably. “Just get what you need. You can always go back and get more. Any anyway, it isn’t costing the holiday companies anything, because we’re paying for it.”
“But it’s still there,” he persisted. “And we’re subsidising other people to guzzle as if every meal is their last. What happens to what isn’t eaten? Mind you, I bet not much of it goes to waste – look!” He nodded to a generously-proportioned couple carrying two plates of dessert each.
The catering arrangements were what had startled Ollie most about being in America. He simply wasn’t used to the choices available, or the quantities of food on offer, but had begun to guess at both as early as their trip through Orlando International Airport. He had stared with morbid curiosity at the extra wide wheelchairs, and wondered if people really needed them to be as big as that.
A couple of years ago he probably wouldn’t have thought twice about it, but having become an avid Solo Expenses user, he tended to focus more on unnecessary spending, and the harm it was doing. He’d already shown Lizzie how using the free-to-download app was saving them hundreds every month, making more cash available to spend on things they really needed. 18 months of careful use had saved enough money to pay a substantial part of their holiday bill.
Lizzie read his thoughts. “You’re looking at it with your Solo Expenses head on, aren’t you?” He couldn’t deny it. “Well, yes, but look,” he said. “It’s just wasteful. We’re in a wonderful place and everyone could enjoy themselves without packing so much food away. It’s bad for their health – and the planet for that matter. Imagine how much these people would be paying if they weren’t all-inclusive. They’d soon notice a difference if they just moderated their intake. They’d save money for some really good souvenirs, or a big slice of the price of a theme park ticket.”
“Or another slice of cake,” said Lizzie. “But that’s not our business, and you’re in danger of being rude. You need to stop focusing on other people and think about the fact that we’re on holiday, the sunshine’s filling us up with Vitamin D, and Alice is having the time of her life. If you get grumpy about things that aren’t your concern, you’ll be miserable, and so will we. Won’t we, Alice?” Alice, munching through a plateful of grapes, nodded and said: “And tomorrow we’re going to see Mickey, so it’s just one more sleep. Do we have to pay to see him?”
“Now look what you’ve done,” said Lizzie. “Talk about out of the mouths of babes and sucklings. Even Alice is thinking about money, and she’s only four!”
Ollie sipped his coffee. Gently putting the cup down, he said quietly: “Not necessarily a bad thing. We wasted money for years, but we don’t do it any more because of Solo Expenses. If Alice learns that lesson from us now, think how many things she’ll have been able to see and do with the money she saves by the time she’s our age.”
“I can’t argue with that,” said Lizzie. “Who’s a clever boy then?”