Prepper FAIL

Forgot My Wallet

I usually fill up every other day.  I use almost a third of a tank a day and just can't make myself fill up every day.  Yesterday I got to work as usual, planning to fill up before I left for home in the afternoon.  I realized about halfway through the morning that I had left my wallet at home.  But, I'd be OK, I could make it home on what I had in the tank.  A little later, I took a drive out to a couple of spots in the city, completely forgetting I had to conserve my gas.  I drove past a restaurant that had a sign out front claiming the best fish sandwich in town. 

As I contemplated a tasty fish sandwich I remembered that I had no wallet and whoops, I need to save my gas.  But then I thought, no, I'll be fine, I'll just use my debit card... no, that is in my wallet.  I started heading back to the office and as I passed a credit union, I thought, oh, here's my solution, I'll write a check for cash at the CU to buy gas... nope, I keep my extra check in my wallet.  Oh, good!  Here comes one of the pawn shops that are all over town.  I always carry a Silver Eagle coin, I'll just pawn it for $15 or so, and come back Tuesday and get it out of pawn.  Durn it, I carry my Silver Eagle in my wallet.  I used to carry $100 cash in my BOB in the back of the Element.  Unfortunately, at some point I had dug into it but never replaced it.

As I pulled back in the office parking lot, I realized that at the end of the day I had to go to the far eastern end of the city for meeting before heading home (adding about 30 miles to my already 56 mile trip home).  I would "probably" have enough gas to get home.  Leaving my meeting and heading west on the interstate, I ran into the worst westbound traffic I had seen in several years.  I was at a complete stop in about a 6 mile backup.  After about 20 minutes of creeping along, I was able to take an exit and get back in town.

Back on the city streets, traffic was still horrible.  It was taking 5 to 6  cycles to get through each stop light.  Time and gas were both slipping away.  I was able to take some side streets and save about 15 minutes.  As I finally made it out of town and hit the interstate where I normally get on, I had been on the road for an hour already and my low fuel light came on.  I was pretty doubtful of making it home.

I got off about 20 miles from my exit at a 7-11 right off the interstate.  I knew I had some change stashed in my ashtray, but didn't know how much.  I was hoping for about $3.50 so I could get a full gallon, and it would more than likely get me home.  I was going to count of karma and the kindness of strangers if I didn't have enough. 

Turns out I had $5.42 and was able to get 1.505 gallons.  Hooray!  I could make it all the way home without panhandling!

So, how do I keep this from happening again?  First thing, put some cash back in the BOB.  Next, replenish my spare change ashtray.  Finally, stick an extra Silver Eagle or two in the Element, hidden somewhere that I won't forget.


  1. I love this! I think we've all had something similar happen to us before, be it leaving the wallet or checkbook at home, running low on gas or just being stuck forever in traffic watching the needle slowly slip away. And I know I've dipped into the BoB stash of cash before... Thanks for the reminder to be diligent about replacing those funds!

    Earlier in the day, why not ask a sympathetic coworker for the loan of a bit of gas money? You thought you would make it home on what you had, didn't you?

    And a thought.. keep a backup credit card with a low balance in the BoB in the car, just in case. I like your idea of keeping the Silver Eagle in the car too!

    ~ Sandy Taylor

  2. I have had something similar happen but I did finally run out of gas as I came off the off ramp and still about 5 miles from home. I had to call a family member to come and get me with a gas can. I now have money hidden in all of the vehicles and in my get home bag too. I sure felt silly standing by the car waiting for the gas to come. I guess it happens to the best of us at some time or another. Its a good reminder though.

  3. this happened to me MANY years ago in the middle of nowhereville about 3 a.m., i found 2 bucks in my car but no gas station. on fumes i found one of those old pumps that you feed dollar bills into. got me home. i resolved to never let that happen again. i take my cash change from drive thru's n such n toss it in my console.i never miss it. every once in a while i organize it, but never take it out. the other day i counted 225 bucks. that'll get me home!


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