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My $139 Tube of Toothpaste

  June 23

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tube of toothpasteSo, you know how last Monday I shared my budget with you and I included a category for “gremlins”?

Many of you wanted to know what gremlins were, so in case you missed it, gremlins are all those little unexpected expenses that pop up, like speeding tickets or a broken retainer or a flat tire.

These aren’t huge emergencies per say that would need you to liquidate your emergency fund, but they are just plain stupid and cost money.

I don’t know about you but the gremlins seem to get me all the time. Case in point: my $139 tube of toothpaste.

You might be wondering why a tube of toothpaste cost me so much, so I’ll tell you.

I flushed it down the toilet.

Yep, I sure did.

There I was minding my own business. Or rather, doing my own business (trying not to create a visual here). Anyway, I stood up, flushed the toilet, and somehow like the spaz that I am, knocked the toothpaste off the sink and into the toilet at the exact moment it was flushing.

Now, silly old me had this thought flash through my head about how annoyed I was that I would have to stick my hand in the toilet to fish it out. Oh but little did I know that would be the least of my worries. Yep, that tube of toothpaste went straight down the drain, people, faster than you could spell c-r-e-s-t.

I naturally started swearing up a storm. Hubs came running in thinking something was wrong with the kids, but no it was just me being a spaz and flushing toothpaste down the drain. The funny thing was that I had just reminded hubs not to leave his chapstick out because Julep keeps eating the little tubes of them, thus wasting money. But who’s the big money waster now? Moi.

So, why did the tube of toothpaste cost $139? Well, of course everything got plugged up. I had to call a plumber to come first thing in the morning. I also had to awkwardly text my landlord and tell her that in some sort of freak accident I flushed toothpaste down her brand new toilet in her brand new bathroom. And despite it being a rental, our lease clearly states that “plumbing problems” that are the fault of the tenant are the financial responsibility of the tenant.

So needless to say, I think I made a great impression on my landlords.

And that, my friends, is why you should have a gremlins category in your budget.

Also try to keep your toothpaste as far away from your toilet as possible. That’s your life lesson for today.

You’re welcome.

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44 responses to “My $139 Tube of Toothpaste

  1. Just wait until the little ones are mobile enough to start flushing things down the toilet! Then you’ll be calling them the gremlins! =)

    *Maybe TMI, but hopefully you get a good laugh* Kitty PoP actually likes to dunk his little stuffed toys in the toilet (the water dish too!), so even though we try and keep the toilet seats closed as much as possible, every once in a while we don’t and go in and find a “floater”. He also likes to bring stuffed toys to me in the middle of the night… combine the two, and occasionally I get a wet monkey dropped on my chest at 3am and have to say to myself, “Oh dear god, I hope this isn’t a toilet monkey!”

  2. Lol- those Gremlins are the worst kind of expenses! They are always so frustrating because I constantly think if I did X maybe Y wouldn’t have happened. My mom always says–Money can’t buy happiness but it sure can solve a lot of problems. It’s so true because you can spend the day moping, analyzing what happened or you just fork over some cash and solve the problem.

  3. So sorry about your unexpected $139 bill, but your story made me laugh! Mainly because I could totally see myself doing something similar. Those “gremlins” drive me crazy. Like waiting too long to send a gift and paying extra for a rush delivery or getting a parking ticket in front of my office. D’oh!

  4. Sorry to hear about your latest gremlin 🙁 Here’s my toilet-related story: last week I was flushing a public toilet with my foot and my flop flop almost fell into the toilet! I thought I was being so clever by flushing it with my foot – not so much!

  5. Oh no! That really sucks, but to be honest, I would be glad it wasn’t more expensive….still goes to show you that you need to be prepared for emergencies like this! Give it a year and the munchkins will be flushing things for you!

  6. Yikes! Gremlins suck! Hopefully you want see many more of them, but they do have a way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it.

    Being the DIY nerd that I am I’m curious of how complicated the repair was. Did the plumber actually retrieve the tube or did they push it through the lines? You may not have stuck around for the details, but it would be good to know especially if one of the those gremlins decides to visit me. 🙂

    Have a great day!

  7. This is a funny story! We’ve all done things we look back on and think “how did that happen?!” so thank you for the laugh this morning. However, I’m sorry it cost you so much!!

  8. Oh no! That really stinks. This is a good reminder though, I put all of my stuff (makeup, lotions, etc.) right next to the toilet and I will be moving them to a different part of the bathroom now.

  9. Not to reiterate other peoples comments here but kids might also flush a lot of stuff. My brother was notorious for flushing things down the toilet. I think his greatest accomplishment was flushing a jewelry box and all of it’s contents! Decades later I still get to hear about that one.

    I also used to have an issue with my dog eating things that were wasteful. We had to always close the bathrooms because if the door was open then a roll of toilet paper would be chewed up. I’m glad she grew out of that phase though.

  10. I never would have imagined it to be possible to flush a tube of toothpaste down the toilet! But man, at least that gremlin didn’t cost more than what it was!

  11. Oh boy, that sounds like something I would do! I’m sorry it cost you, but I am glad you can laugh about it now =). I always safeguard things in our bathroom anyway, as our cat loves to make a mess in there. We came home last night to q-tips all over the floor.

  12. hahaha that’s funny. Maybe you need a new spot for your toothpaste.. as far away as possible from the toilet.

    The only thing I have to worry about when in the bathroom are my cats staring at me. It’s a little uncomfortable really. They just sit there and look at me.

  13. Haha oh man Cat. What did the plumber say?

    A friend of mine thought it was a good idea to flush dental floss down the toilet. ..a few weeks nothing happened but finally after a night of drinking and eating greasy Mexican food she was basically living in the bathroom when the toilet EXPLODED everywhere of their rental. The plumber approached them about dental floss and there was now no denying who caused it
    ..

  14. Oh no – I would never have thought that would have blocked the toilet. I’m going to move some of our stuff further away 🙂

  15. Ha! I hate to laugh at your toilet incident, but at the same time, it’s crazy that one tube of toothpaste could cause that much damage! You should have called me, I could have sent FB Hubby to Jersey for far less. It’s true though, you never know when and where the gremlins are going to come out. The best thing to do is plan for them.

  16. Oh golly, what a gremlin indeed. That sounds exactly like the way things go down in my house, basically immediately after chastising Spouse for something, something worse will happen to me!

  17. Cahterine,

    Yikes! That’s one expensive tube of toothpaste!

    At least the plumber wasn’t too bad, though. That probably could have been a lot worse.

    And I hear you on gremlins. I seem to have them every single month. I need to get some gremlin repellent over here. 🙂

    Best wishes!

  18. Last week, my fiance wasn’t thinking when he used our wet/dry vac to suck up some water that spilled in our bathroom. He then proceeded to empty the contents into the toilet bowl and flush it. Whatever unknown gunk that was in the vaccuum BEFORE the water mixed together and ended up in us having to buy a whole new toilet! $179 Gremlin right there!

  19. First time I’ve heard of the term financial gremlin and enjoyed your explanation. I’m sorry about that little accident that cost you $179. I have friends who may think running into a store for a quick purchase without paying the meter is okay. I say spending 50 cents is much better than paying a $45 parking ticket. I’m going to start using your term financial gremlins from now on.

  20. Thanks for confirming I am not the only klutz who is willing to admit it. “Sh*t happens” is a truism to live by. Anyone who does not allow room in monthly expenses to address mishaps that are just “part of life” are being unrealistic or playing ostrich.

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