When it comes to saving money, from my experience one of the key ways in building up a healthy savings account is to truly recognize where all of your money is going and by assessing the most effective ways to cut down your expenses. There are so many examples that I have seen where people go to extreme lengths to save maybe a few dollars when in reality all of that effort in doing so actually made you save less in the long run.
The most typical example would be someone seeing an item that is on sale at a store that would require a lengthy commute for an item that is say $3 off the original price compared to other stores. So, letâ€™s say that the person is taking public transit and it will cost them about $2.25 to actually get there. When it is all said and done, youâ€™ve technically saved 75 cents. Is that really worth the trip and time that it takes for one to get there and back?
A common complaint that many people use nowadays on why they canâ€™t seem to be able to save any money is because of gas prices. The general conscience is that it costs people a fortune to fill up the tanks as they need a vehicle to get around. Now what I would often see is that if there is a place that is say 2 miles away and sells gas for about 10 cents a litre cheaper than a local gas station, many people would react as if they saved hundreds of dollars by making that single trip to fill up the car over there. Once again, most people wouldnâ€™t factor in the amount of gas that it took to get there and back as a factor. With this example, letâ€™s pretend we are filling up a 40 litre gas tank. With the 10 cents a saving per litre that means without factoring in the travel expense you saved about $4. Similar to the other example above, for all that effort is that really the best way to save money?
If I was to save money, not buying one cup of coffee for one day would have saved me more money than traveling to a farther store to save 75 cents. For the gas example, not going out to an expensive restaurant and eating at home would have saved me more than double the amount I saved from traveling to a far away location to save gas money. While it can definitely be a great habit to save money whenever you can, I just think it is more productive and beneficial if you look at the overall picture on just how much you are saving when you factor in your time and expenses that it takes to save a few dollars in these types scenarios. After all, time is money as well.