Finding new ways to save money on almost anything you buy is almost like getting a raise. Maybe it’s even better! Because, when you save twenty dollars on a coat you get to keep the whole twenty dollars.
But, when you make twenty dollars more on your paycheck, you lose five dollars or more of it to taxes.
Although finding ways to save money can go too far.
In a recent article on how to save money on almost anything, the writer suggested getting free flowers for weddings by picking up the leftover flowers at a cemetery. They didn’t say how you can tell which are “leftovers.”
I thought I was cheap! The following are gleaned from real suggestions on ways to save money sent to “frugality” websites and blogs.
Some cheapskates don’t seem to notice that an extra hour at work might put them further ahead than many hours of penny-pinching.
Ways To Save Money – Don’t Try These At Home
A mother confessed that she makes her kids stuff their pockets with the free ketchup, salt, and other condiment packets every time they were in a fast-food restaurant. Oh, if only that were all, but no.
She has the kids squeeze the contents of the packets into regular jars of ketchup and mustard too. She says she hasn’t bought these condiments in years. Pride is found in strange places.
One creative penny pincher found a way to save money on car washes. He washes his entire car using the squeegee at the gas station. Hmm… I wonder if he takes the toilet paper rolls home from their restrooms too.
Would you like a free umbrella? One man suggests getting one at the lost and found department of any large public library. You just tell them you lost a black umbrella.
They will almost certainly have several, from which you can pick the best one and claim it as your own.
What if they have no black umbrellas?
I guess we’ll have to wait for this guy to publish a “lost umbrella color frequency chart,” in order to know which color to try for the next day.
Several contributors to these blogs know how to save money on almost anything including their long-distance phone bills.
The most common suggestion is to call people long-distance when you know they won’t be home and leave a message for them. Then they pay for it when they return your call.
I suppose if your timing is off, and they answer when you call, you can quickly hang up on them and try again later.
I don’t recommend any of these as ways to even the most frugal person. Apart from the ethical issues with some of them, they can be lumped in along with washing and re-using plastic wrap, a time-wasting frugality.
On the other hand, they are fun to read, and I suppose we could view such measures as cheap entertainment as well.
There is a simple money-saving exercise that everyone should do at least once in their lives.
It is ultimately one of the best ways to save money because it is not about pinching pennies, but about discovering what you really want and getting it. It is so simple you may hesitate to try it.
Just try it. Here it is:
List everything that you have spent money on, are currently spending money on, or might spend money on like you’re creating a budget.
Don’t just read this and think of a few things. Take the time to actually write it all down. Review your bank statements if you have to, in order to remember and include everything.
Now go through the list, and carefully consider each item. Take the most time on the big items past, present, and future possibilities.
If your timeshare on the beach is worth half what you paid, costs $1,000 per year in expenses, and is rarely used, you need to learn from that – not to punish yourself, but to have a richer life.
If you think honestly about the number of times you will use that Recreational Vehicle, and the cost, it may be $250 for each day of use. That’s okay if that is worth it to you, but maybe you really would enjoy $100 hotels more.
Or maybe you can rent an RV for less overall cost, thus freeing up money for other important goals.
You see, saving money isn’t about sacrifice. We all are aware of the scrooges in life that pinch their pennies, bank the savings, and then do nothing with it.
The point should be to save money in one area of life so you can use it in ways that make your whole life richer.
Suppose you notice you’re spending $8 per month on subscriptions to streaming services you don’t watch, or on insurance for a motorcycle, you almost never ride?
Cancel the subscriptions or sell the motorcycle, and what have you lost? Is it a big deal? What will that $8 get you instead?
– Bank it for ten years, and use the $1200 to take a second honeymoon.
– Use it to pay for a day off work once a year, to spend with the kids.
– Invest it, to have an extra $50 per month during your retirement years.
– Buy six good books a year, to learn something new.
– Make banana splits for the family once a month.
– Give $100 per year to a worthy cause.
$8 per month can do a lot if used wisely. Imagine what you could do if you stopped wasting $200 per month. That’s why it is so important to discover what you really want – and what you don’t want.
This is one of the most intelligent ways to save money.
Perhaps you can turn off the lights to save money on electricity and tell the kids it’s a game of hide-and-seek, or train your dog to beg from the neighbors so you don’t have to feed him.
I wonder how many people actually pay for magazines and newsletters that tell us ways to save money? Do these magazines advise that readers go to the library to read them, or stand reading them in the aisle at the bookstore for an hour? Those are some sure ways to save money.
Knowing how to manage money matters – but it’s not something that just grows on its own. Not without a strategy, time, a growing awareness, and specific knowledge.
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