When I’ve given speeches at community groups, I’m often surprised to hear, “This sounds like a lot of work.”
It’s hard to know what to say to this. Do I say:
– “But it’s worth it.”
– “Not really”
– “Maybe a little work, but it focuses your mind on saving instead of spending”
None of these approach the truth. Saving money isn’t easy or hard….it’s a complete mindset change.
Finding Opportunity Where You Don’t Expect
As I wrote in Can’t Save? Write it Out, Bitches!, often, we don’t look hard enough for opportunities. I took a quick trip to the store yesterday for bread and ketchup to work on my famous sloppy joes (well, not yet famous, but I’ve not given up). Without thinking, I jumped in the car and paid full-on retail for both of these items.
In today’s world, with my iPad sitting on the counter, it wouldn’t have been hard to find a coupon. In fact, a look this morning (that took less than three minutes) found me $.50 off the bread I purchased and $.25 off the ketchup. Lots of savings? No, but by changing my mindset and doing this all the time, I can find tons of opportunities, no matter where I am.
– Saving on insurance with comparison sites
– Saving on airfare and hotels with online discounters
– Saving on food with Tesco vouchers
– Saving on restaurants with newspaper coupons
It’s easy to find ways to save, but instead of just grabbing the keys and leaving home, you need to take a few minutes.
It isn’t frugal as much as it’s smart
I’ll be the first to tell you that I have no interest in saving $.75 on bread and ketchup. However, if it’s the same ketchup and bread, the same hotel room, the same airline, and I don’t have to take significant time to find the deal…that’s not about saving $.75. It’s about learning to treat money with respect.
So, the next time you grab the keys to head to the store, think for a moment. Could I look for deals online? Could I find aggregator sites that would help me get this done better/cheaper/quicker (or all three at the same time?). Could I be saving daily with discount codes, coupons and deals for the same stuff I was going to buy anyway? Better yet, could this be the Roth IRA contribution you weren’t able to make this year because you “didn’t have any money?”
Photo: Saad Faruque