I’ve never considered myself a penny-pincher. I’m not great at knowing exactly how much I have paid for an item and to cost compare with everywhere else — at least on small, everyday items. I believe that the extra two or three or fifty cents worth the time I need to spend on hunting down the best price. When it comes to gas, groceries, or an item of clothing I love, I typically don’t pinch pennies.
Maybe I should?
However, there are other types of purchases I do look at with a critical eye. They are the types of things that come with contracts: mortgages, insurance, utilities, medical bills, large purchases such as furniture, cars, and appliances.
Why the difference in my approach depending on what I plan to purchase?
In my mind, I work on the types of purchases that make the most impact to my pocketbook, those things that keep me from paying more interest and fees than I should, or finding a large purchase for a sweet deal. That is where my bargain shopper mind comes in to play. For smaller purchases: groceries, gas, minor home needs — I have come to find that doing all the extra footwork to find the best deal isn’t worth my time. And I am the type of person that believes my time is more precious than money. I would drive myself mad if I obsessed over every purchase I made. I’d rather have some peace of mind and not be obsessive.
There are some other types of purchases where I, at times look for a bargain. These tend to be things I don’t need urgently, like clothing, or some towels. You know, just the extras that you kind of need to replace but you can shop around for a great price. There are other times where I’m clothes shopping and find that blouse or pair of shoes that fit just right and look great, but are full price. Those are splurges I take because there aren’t many times where I can find something that a perfect fit for me, I can’t pass it up.
Should I look at these things with a more critical eye? Maybe. But, again, I can’t drive myself crazy everytime I make a purchase. Getting carried away like that isn’t healthy for me.
We all have our own way of saving money and purchasing things that make us happy. How critical is it to pinch pennies with every single purchase? For some people, it may be a way of life. It makes them happy.
For myself, I say spending your waking hours only thinking about your money, it may be more of an obsession rather than practical management. If you don’t think about it at all, it’s the opposite problem, and you have less money in the bank.
I find myself most comfortable in a happy middle, and taking the time to save money on the purchases I feel that have the most impact. I could do better, but that’s my sweet spot.
How about you?