I usually go fully loaded at all times! Have used emergency tools and Spares, more times than I care to remember!
over my 21 years of motoring.
I have always had break down cover, but hate using it. Not to mention the utterly joyful experience of waiting at the side of the road for hours on end, knowing that I could have fixed it in a 10-20 minutes "if only I had few basic tools". And been on my way.
I have nearly always been with the RAC, and have great respect for what those guys can achieve, on a huge range of cars, when put on the spot.
But with the kit I carry, I can get out of unforeseen situations 7/10.
Also when you drive and old car, and you rely on that to get you to work as a self employed person, you learn to be self reliant as much as possible. Especially when being 2-3 hrs late is not an option, or you may as well not bother showing up.
Everyone's situation is different, especially in relation to their type of employment, but this is what works for me.