This isn’t a new article, but I came across it again the other day and found it interesting. The article asks whether it’s better to penny pinch and save on the little things (like making coffee at home rather than buying it) or if you should forget the small stuff and just make big changes (like getting rid of your second family car). The article also offers the obvious third answer – do both.
One financial planner interviewed said “Pinching pennies is the most emotionally draining way to save.” I don’t know that I agree. I suppose you are cutting out little things and making sacrifices and not seeing a huge amount of savings, and for some people, that can be tough. Penny pinching can be time consuming. It can require lots of planning ahead before grocery shopping and giving up your daily latte. But it does add up. Maybe not in the first day, but the money does accumulate.
For example, I bring my coffee every day. If I bought regular coffee, it would probably cost $2 a day (but I would likely splurge on lattes sometimes). Now, that doesn’t mean I save $2 a day because I’m still buying coffee. I buy coffee that costs around $7 a bag. Let’s say I get 20 days out of that bag. That means that in 20 days, I’ve saved over $30. Sure, it’s not a lot, but it adds up. Try it yourself with one of your regular expenses. Or you can just check out this coffee calculator.
Do you save clipping coupons? Yes, if you use them on products you normally buy. Sure, it takes time. But again, those little things add up.
Now sure, it would be “faster” to save by getting rid of a second family car or moving into a smaller home, but not everyone has the ability to take those steps. But if you can, why not go for it? And if you’re looking to buy something expensive, do your research and make sure you’re buying the best you can get for your money. Shop around.
And hey, splurge on that $4 latte every so often. You deserve a little fun, after all.
How about you? Are you a penny pincher or do you choose to save in bigger ways?