|Morning tea out on the verandah.|
LET'S get straight to the point.....being a frugal shopper, a DIYer, a veggie gardener, a thrifty recycler, a super smart stockpiler, a home mechanic, a from-scratch cook, a capable sewer or a ride-your-bike-instead-of-driving devotee does not necessary make you any better off financially.
Let me explain. I meet many folk who claim to be simple-living and saving money on this that and the other but are clearly still spinning their wheels financially. This is plainly evident by their reaction when I ask them what they did with the money they saved on a purchase - try this scenario for size:
Me: Hi Bruce! Hey nice suit - is it new?
Bruce: Yes it is new. You'd be proud of me....I got it 50% off. Saved myself $250.
Me: Cool! So what did you do with the $250 you saved Bruce?
Bruce: Aaaahhh, oh, um, aaah, yeah, um
Me: Sorry Bruce...just razzin' you up. It's a great suit and a great bargain Sir....real nice cut. You're looking real sharp. (then I change the topic).
|I let the chooks out at dusk to|
have a 'supervised' peck around
You see, Bruce has not saved a blessed cent. Truth be told, he only bought the suit because it was on 50% special not because he needed it, so in fact he has wasted $250. The paradox is he thinks he has saved $250. The worst of it is that his finances are thus unreconciled to the tune of $500....yep.
So here is the straight up facts about buying bargains, saving money and being frugal:
Unless we take those savings and use them to either put into a savings account as an extra savings payment, or, use them to pay against a consumer debt as an extra debt payment on top of what we would normally be paying down, then the savings we think we have made are just fictional and theoretical.
SAVINGS ARE NOT SAVINGS UNTIL THE MONEY IS IN THE BANK
A BARGAIN IS NOT A BARGAIN UNTIL THE DIFFERENCE IS BANKED
For so long we used to 'budget' when we shopped and enthuse over only spending X amount on groceries or getting cheap petrol or fixing the car ourselves......but never actually got around to putting those savings aside. It was all theoretical talk.....and worse than that, as all the effort and thought we put into chasing bargains and frugal savings were wasted because we never took that vital final action - putting the savings in the bank or off our debt. We were not Robinson Crusoe either - so many folks fail to take that last logical and vital step too and thus inextricably find themselves no better off despite their fine efforts to be frugal.
So the next time you save $20 on your grocery bill - bank the $20 the same day.
The next time you get petrol cheap - bank the $6 the same day.
The next time you get a discount - bank the difference the same day.
The next time you get your free coffee stamp after buying 9 others - bank the $4.50 the same day.
|An exhilarating moment....|
In all seriousness, unallocated monies due to frugal activity are the most easily misplaced and squandered monies. Every dollar must have a home. If you save a dollar - immediately give it a home....don't leave it laying around in your wallet or in your general expenses account.
Take care folks - stay nice.
After thought: I guess this post is totally self evident for long-time skilled frugalistas and budgeters, however it was a hidden trap we fell into in our journey to turn around our finances and thus may just strike the right note for other folk working hard to curb spending but feeling they are not making headway.