Monday, July 12, 2010

How do you make every penny count?

Two winters ago a jar similar to this paid for a weekend trip to Denver with a friend. He and I went to watch one of our favorite college sports teams play. We were both currently in school and money was tight but my trip was funded by saving the leftover coins from purchases and money I found on the ground. It taught me a valuable lesson. Every penny counts and things do really add up. Now blowing it on a trip for the weekend may not have been the best use of it but you get the idea.

So $30.66 may not seem like a lot of money, but its $30.66 closer we are to financial freedom.
The $30.66 that is growing in my change jar is just a small simple thing we are doing to save a few extra dollars each month. More important than the five or six dollars that are put into the jar each month is the fact that every penny counts. Having respect for every penny shows dedication to the overall picture of our personal finances.

Every single day we let small amounts of money slip through our fingers. Here are just a few examples.

*Purchasing name brand products that often have the exact same ingredients as store brand

*Paying bills a day or two late leading to late fees. It may only be a few dollar late fee but it adds up.

*Passing coins on the ground as we walk by. No one will become financially free by scouring the sidewalk looking for change. But taking a second to pick it up shows that we recognize value whether great or small.

*Throwing away coupons for products that we use on a regular basis because we are too lazy to cut them out.

*Passing up odd jobs that may only yield a few extra dollars because we think it is not worth our time. For example several times I have been asked by neighbors to help lay sod for a few dollars an hour. Many of my friends didn't think it was worth their time. But activities like that create camaraderie and for me I would have helped for free, so the extra money is just pure bonus.

*Paying for sodas at a gas station, purchasing them from the store is much cheaper yet the convenience seems to catch our pocket book all to often.

*Leaving electricity on when we are out of the home.

I could go on for hours on simple things we could do to save and make a little bit more money. But the important thing to remember is every penny counts.

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