There’s a difference (to me) between saving money and not spending any money. The first one, saving money, means (to me) that you have actual cash that you are going to deposit into an actual savings account. The other alternative, not spending any money, means (to me) that you purchase an item originally priced at $10 but you buy it at a reduced price of $8. That $2 dollar difference is the amount of money you didn’t spend. You didn’t save anything. You just didn’t spend as much as you originally thought you would.
The best thing about ‘not spending any money’ (to me) is that that money you didn’t spend, remains in either your wallet, your savings account or maybe you just didn’t have the ready cash to begin with in the first place! Better living at no extra cost to you! Whatever the reason, it’s an amount of money you didn’t have to come up with. This variance, if played wisely, can be your personal hedge against inflation, cost of living increases or simply a matter of preserving your bottom line and your quality of lifestyle. If you can continually use less money to your advantage you will enjoy a better quality of life without exerting much effort. Other than your verbal muscles.
This purchasing expertise has been in my family for years and it has been passed down from generation to generation. I learned from my mother, who, in turn, learned from her mother, who I, in turn passed it down to both my daughters as well as my husband. Hubby, it seems has become quite the shopping maverick. Now that he is almost retired, he has the time and the energy it takes to seek out top quality brands at low cost options.
First example case in point, hubby needed new tires on his SUV. Normally, people just go out and buy tires, put it on a charge card and pay it off, over time, with interest. When you drive a $56,000 luxury vehicle, you can’t just slop any-ole-tire on the car. The required tires are just as expensive as the luxury car (even though you only paid $20,000 for the luxury car, it’s still a luxury car). Hubby took his time, shopped around and got a best price of $885 for 4 brand new tires. Once hubby ascertained the cost, he sought out bargains. He found a dealer who was offering the same exact 4 tires but running a ‘special deal’ whereby if you buy 3 tires, you get the 4th one free for $696. The dealer also offered, at no additional charge, to rotate the tires AND do a complete 100% vehicle inspection (brake, power steering, filters yada, yada, yada). For this deal, hubby didn’t have to spend $189. He charged the new tires to his vehicle’s manufacturer charge card, which gave him an automatic zero interest invoice if paid off in 6 months ($116 per month).
Hubby is registered with those big box home improvement stores as a contractor pro. Every once in a while he gets these dollar-off coupons. We’re in the middle of replacing ALL of our 18 year old blinds with the new cordless models when DH got this $10 off coupon in his email account. That was $10 we didn’t have to spend.
The days are getting shorter as well as colder. There’s a good chance we may get snow by the end of next week. I looked in my closet and went through my winter shoes. Most pairs are over 10 years old, fit snugly but have actual holes in the inner linings. Yes, I wear my stuff down to the bone. Literally. It was time for me to buy a new pair of winter boots. Since hubs and I shop at DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse) we get dollar-off coupons from time to time. This is my birthday month so DSW sent me two coupons for a total of $15 off my next purchase (expires 11/30/19). I purchased a good brand $70 booties for only $54. That was $15 I didn’t have to spend.
While I was shopping for my boots, in the store and not online, I got an email from Panera (which I do frequent often whenever they send me a coupon) for a free soup. With the onslaught of winter, a hot bowl of soup fit in mighty fine after an hour or so of shoe shopping. Now, Panera is betting that once they get you in their store with a free coupon, you’re going to spend money on something else. Perhaps a drink or a cup of coffee. I don’t fall for that nonsense. Companies actually lose money on me than make a profit. After I bought my shoes, I stopped at Panera, got my free bowl of their Ten Vegetable Soup, with side baguette and butter and had a delightful, hot snack free of charge. I didn’t spend the $6.19 the soup was worth.
Lastly, to reiterate how my past week went, I got my worn out, but newish pajamas replaced, at no charge from Lands End. That was $60 I didn’t have to spend. Hubby purchased two much needed flannel shirts from Tractor Supply at $5 off per shirt, so that was $10 that he didn’t have to spend. The bartender at a club hubby and I went to on Halloween night sported me a free Cosmopolian drink (after I downed two!). That was $14 I didn’t have to spend.
TOTAL MONEY WE DIDN’T SPEND THIS WEEK: $304
Live like this year in and year out and you will quickly find out how truly rich you really are. It’s not always the money you save. It’s the money you don’t spend that makes the difference. Good luck!