One of my coworkers, George, was telling me last week that quite often in his conversations with people about ways to save money on things they buy, many folks will kind of shrug off the idea of only saving just a few dollars and say “it’s not enough money to worry about.” To this George will hold out this hand and reply “okay, give me the money then if you really don’t care about it.” Then they’re not so quick to part with the dough!
Aside from the fact that a few dollars here and there can actually add up to significance, and that alone is a reason to save money whenever and wherever possible, the effort and attitude required to get regular discounts/savings is the same regardless of whether you’re saving a few dollars, or a few thousand.
This frugal way of thinking has to become a way of life. Once it’s ingrained in you, then you will more often opt to save money no matter how much or little. The sad fact is, though, if we aren’t too concerned over saving “just a few bucks” on something then we probably have not trained ourselves in being thrifty enough and are likely missing out on many potential savings.
For example, Deborah and I will periodically examine all of our “utility” type payments (phone, television, and internet services, etc.) and see if we can get better deals. Usually it takes just a little research on current promotions and a phone call to the provider to get a better deal or an upgrade to your plan for no extra cost. It helps if you avoid contracts. And if we buy a bit too much material at the home supply store, rather than let it take up space in the garage, we’ll return it – even if it’s only several bucks worth.
Does this sound like we’re cheap skates? Call it whatever you want but this kind of attention to detail has enabled us to own our house outright and have no debt after only about seven years. We evaluate every purchase to ask ourselves whether we really need it and, if we do need it or just want it, then can we get it cheaper somehow? And we do this at every level, big or small. The previous examples about utilities and materials from the home supply store are peanuts compared to the huge savings we’ve realized on big purchases like cars and our house.
So be a nerd about your spending. Count the cost before plunking down your cash. Evaluate. Sleep on it. Ask someone’s opinion. The irony is that you’ll soon find you can afford so much more because you’ve learned to keep more in your wallet!