Should You Pay For Peace of Mind?

pay for peace of mindWhen it comes down to it I have to admit that I am a bit of a worrier.

I worry about all sorts of things that are completely out of my control, along with many things that I can control.

I try to plan as much as possible to mitigate the possibility of something bad happening.

Even though I am a worrier, I’m usually not the type to pay for some peace of mind.

However, there have been some circumstances where we have done exactly that because the cost ended up being less than the value provided.

When I Didn’t Pay For Peace Of Mind

The first instance that comes to mind was my recent experience with what I thought was simple credit card fraud. Unfortunately, it turned out to be identity theft, but either way I felt like my credit had the potential to be violated again in the future.

I wanted to feel like my information was secure as I had prior to the identity theft, but I quickly realized I won’t ever have that peace of mind back. 

I did have one option available to me if I wanted to get at least some feeling of control. The credit bureaus offered me a form of identity theft monitoring that I could pay for on a monthly basis. It was somewhere in the range of $10-$15 a month, which isn’t a ton of money but definitely adds up over time.

I decided against paying for the service because I am fully capable of pulling myself a free annual credit report from one of the three bureaus every four months. Why pay for something I can essentially do myself for free in just a couple minutes?

Another time that we considered paying for peace of mind was when we planned our honeymoon. We had to make a few decisions on whether or not we wanted to pay for some peace of mind when it came to two different potential transactions involving our cruise. The first was vacation insurance and the second was our shore excursions.

When we booked our cruise on Carnival we were offered vacation protection insurance that would cost us about $50 per person. Basically, vacation protection insurance would pay us back for some or all of the cost we paid for our cruise if we couldn’t go due to a covered reason.

Not all potential reasons were covered under the vacation protection insurance and our main concern, Tori’s foot surgery, would be excluded due to the fact that it was a pre-existing condition.

After some thought, we decided against paying for this peace of mind because we couldn’t think of a very likely situation that would cause us to miss our cruise and allow us to make a claim to get our money back.

When We Have Paid For Peace Of Mind

We don’t always turn down paying for peace of mind though. When it came to planning our shore excursions on our cruise we decided to go ahead and pay for some peace of mind.

We could have saved some money booking our excursions through an independent provider (probably around 25%) but we wouldn’t have the same guarantees we had booking through Carnival directly.

By booking our shore excursions through Carnival, we knew that Carnival would stand behind the companies they had chosen. If the cruise missed a port our money would be completely refunded. If bad weather caused the excursion to be cancelled our money would be refunded.

Finally, most important to us, if the excursion ran late and we missed the boat’s all aboard time the cruise ship would either wait for us or Carnival would make sure we caught up with the boat one way or another.

While many of these things aren’t likely to happen, when I’m on vacation, I don’t want to have to worry about anything. I’m there to relax. In this case, paying for the peace of mind was worth it to us.

How do you decide whether or not to pay for peace of mind? Any recent examples you want to share?

Image by: dno1967b Text added by: Lance Cothern

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About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.


  1. In terms of things like additional insurance I usually pay. Another example is when we were doing home renos rather than dealing with two different company time lines I had one company do more than one job (windows and siding) so I didn’t have to stress about timelines. This was initially going to cost more money but argued and saved some in the end but not until I had committed to them.

  2. Stuart@DailyMoneyBucket says:

    I never pay for extended warranties on domestic appliances. The cost to buy peace of mind for these items is extortionate.

    And if you have a number of items (e.g. oven, hob, fridge, freezer, washing machine, television, computer, laptop etc) they effectively cross-insure each other. While some of them will last just a few years, other items will last perhaps 20 years to increase the average lifespan of these items.

  3. Here’s a weird one:

    When I bought my first HDTV, I bought an extended warranty online and I NEVER buy extended warranties.

    The total cost was around 10% of the price paid for the TV, but I was terrified that massive thing would crap out on me after two years.

    Of course it didn’t. But the peace of mind was nice.

  4. I never pay for extended warranties! Yesterday, I had to have my water heater fixed! The pilot light would not stay lit. It turns out I had a 12 year warranty. You know the cost is buried in the price, but I am very happy I have it. I like warranties on mechanical products so I can have piece of mind.

  5. Sometimes credit monitoring can be very useful if the company is willing to handle any disputes on your behalf. It can save you a lot of time and hassle, trust me.

  6. I rarely buy peace of mind. For me the price doesn’t justify the chances that something will go wrong. Of course, this might have something to do with the fact that I am not a worrier and I expect everything to go smoothly.

  7. Paying for peace of mind can be powerful. I mean, we all pay for it with insurance (sometimes it’s mandatory) and the like. I definitely prefer peace of mind rather than worrying, even if it costs a bit more.

  8. More often than not I prefer and pay for peace of mind. I mean, why push frugality so far and worry myself sick when for a slight price (or more at times) I can buy a little peace of mind and live peacefully ever after to a ripe old age 🙂

    Then again, some peace of mind propositions are way over-rated.

  9. Bryce @ Save and Conquer says:

    We had purchased plane tickets and a bus tour through Italy last year. We knew I was going to have a bone marrow transplant several months before the vacation, so we bought insurance. I am certainly glad we did, because I knew after I had the transplant that I would not have fun traveling that year. We got everything reimbursed minus the cost of the insurance. I am better now, and we have booked a Hawaiian vacation for later this year.

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