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Thread: How do you save that $10

  1. #21
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowerseverywhere View Post
    You are correct, but people who are beyond this point move down the chain and continue to whittle away. Each year DH gets insurance quotes, our total energy bill is less than $90 per month, it is not going much lower. We drive as little as possible.
    But our biggest savings involve food. Going out to eat, buying coffee, prepared food can add a massive amount to your spending.
    another big area is buying things you don’t really need. Crafters are potentially really bad in this area but it is not exclusive. Clothes and shoes you really don’t need are wasteful spending. Just so many areas to save a little here and there. Then $10 is a hundred. And so on .
    I "get" the additive effect of multiple $10 bills. I'm not against that.

    I'm just saying that an hour spent canning garden produce (for example) may provide a much smaller return than an hour spent trying to make larger expenditures more wisely. Right now I'm furnace-shopping for both our house and my investment property. Not knowing what I'm buying (Is it the right kind? The right size? Is there a good contractor out there?) will cost a whole bunch of $10 bills more than I'll save canning. Spending an hour reading articles on where investment markets are headed can earn us way more than $10 -- or avoid much larger losses than $10.

    Neither of these are set-it-and-forget-it activities. Maybe I won't buy another furnace for 15-20 years but I'll likely end up buying a roof. Or entry doors. Or a car. Or selling a house and moving. Or going on vacation. Seems there's almost always a bigger-ticket item out there to spend lots of $$$ on.

    Neither approach is invalid. I'm just wary of being so busy saving dimes that I don't watch how I make (or lose) dollars.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  2. #22
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    Every year I shop around for home and car insurance because that can add up to big savings.

  3. #23
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    Neither approach is invalid. I'm just wary of being so busy saving dimes that I don't watch how I make (or lose) dollars.
    I think it's very possible to be "penny-wise and pound-foolish." I think DH and I are guilty of that. I'm surprised at how easily we'll let go of $1k and then argue over whether we buy take-out pizza at $15 vs 2 frozen ones at $10.

    I know that sounds ridiculous, but from the time we cosigned on that house for MIL to the easy jump into student debt for DD's private liberal arts college to hosting a dinner for my college friends at a nice restaurant... I've always accused DH at projecting a persona of having a champagne appearance when he really has a beer income, but I see the same traits in myself. Not in terms of wearing high end clothes or driving high end cars, but more the "I can pick up that tab" mentality. I think that my social insecurity which started when my family was the poor black sheep of the neighborhood might play into a) the need to make money and spend it on other people and b) the feeling that money isn't that important--"hey, I did without it for a long time and survived, didn't I?"

    I'm feeling introspective these days about my own motives for spending money, as you can see. Maybe a too little too late for that, but there's always hope.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    I think it's very possible to be "penny-wise and pound-foolish." I think DH and I are guilty of that. I'm surprised at how easily we'll let go of $1k and then argue over whether we buy take-out pizza at $15 vs 2 frozen ones at $10.
    While I agree that is it possible to be "penny wise and pound foolish", do you think maybe the reason you are able to let go of $1k is BECAUSE you were "penny-wise" with the pizza?

    I know that time is money, but money is also money! And pennies DO add up to dollars.
    To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. - Anon.

    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. - Dalai Lama

  5. #25
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happystuff View Post
    While I agree that is it possible to be "penny wise and pound foolish", do you think maybe the reason you are able to let go of $1k is BECAUSE you were "penny-wise" with the pizza?

    I know that time is money, but money is also money! And pennies DO add up to dollars.
    I love that positive spin. Maybe there's some truth to that. But I still think there are a few grands we could have saved along the way along with the pennies.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  6. #26
    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    For me that $10 is pretty much what it costs for lunch out at work. Nothing fancy - Subway, usually. I need to make the time to get up that wee bit earlier in the morning to put a quick lunch together. I finally got off my duff and used the InstantPot I got free through a work incentive program about a year ago. Made chicken noodle soup. Making shredded chicken (with taco seasoning and jar of salsa) for tacos with the remainder of the chicken breasts I didn't use in the the soup. Having quick dinner stuff to nuke when I get home saves a ton of money.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    I might be one of those you think is penny-wise, pound foolish. I'm very frugal in everyday things but am willing to spend quite a lot in some areas: home maintenance and improvements, travel, dentistry, health and fitness, education/cultural, dog related, and charitable donations. I have an expensive bike; just spent $650 on a new battery for it.

    I'm not a foodie or fashionista, so I have no trouble eating simple home food and buying used clothes. I don't like restaurants, wine, or nightclubs. I dislike driving and avoid it. Reading is important but I can borrow books for free or get them from the library book sale for a quarter. I find that used furniture and household goods are often of better quality than new. I don't follow trends at all. I like to throw an occasional party, but pot luck or a backyard concert costs little (I hear some people spend a lot entertaining.) I like to go the theater so I volunteer 30 hours per year - in return I am given all the tickets I need. (This is something I would happily pay for, but unlike most volunteer work, I actually enjoy this.)

    My daily expenses are low, but my yearly expenditures are fairly high - but well within our means.

  8. #28
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    Every year I shop around for home and car insurance because that can add up to big savings.
    Dont you have umbrella insurance? Here, they require all property insurance

  9. #29
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    Yes but price varies a lot by company. After a while the cheap company starts to raise their prices and I tell them the deal I found and sometimes they will match it. I am careful to only shop reputable companies.

  10. #30
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardenarian View Post
    I might be one of those you think is penny-wise, pound foolish. I'm very frugal in everyday things but am willing to spend quite a lot in some areas: home maintenance and improvements, travel, dentistry, health and fitness, education/cultural, dog related, and charitable donations. I have an expensive bike; just spent $650 on a new battery for it.
    I see that differently. We all have stuff on which we're willling to spend big money but we do tend to research that spending and get something of value from the purchase.

    I'm talking more bigger/more abstract expenditures. I can spend $3,000 on a furnace or I can spend $6,000 on a furnace. The same company and contractor sells both. If I know what I need for my house and comfort level, I can resist the sales pitch and the bells and whistles and save up to $3,000. That's 300 $10 bills -- a lot of canned tomatoes, home haircuts, and soap. I could let my investments ride in a savings account or I could find a better place with about the same level of risk and make many more $10 bills. I'm talking walking away from lots of $10 bills for not knowing just what you need to have or could have for the same cost if you apply a little research.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

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