Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How to Make an Effort to Save Money

Occasionally, I have had debates with friends whether or not it is "worth it" to spend the time researching and applying coupons and other savings. Sometimes, yes, it's not worth the trouble to spend precious free time or go out of your way to save. A good rule of thumb to use is how much your hourly wage works out to be as a gauge. So, if you make $50,000 annually, it equates to ~ $25/hour, about $.42/minute. If it takes you 30 seconds to clip a $.50 coupon, then you are out on top. However, if you spend 30 minutes hunting for just one coupon, than you might argue with your self that it's not worth the time. If coupons are a hobby of sorts, than you can also argue that the value you receive in doing something you enjoy, like beating "the man" at the price war game, is also worth it. Search engines like sidestep for travel, pricescan, and bizrate for everything else are awesome this way.

With the power of Google, searching for coupons is a lot less time consuming than it used to be. I grew up clipping coupons with mom basically as soon as I was able to handle scissors on my own. Although I still browse it, the Sunday newspaper isn't the only source of coupons for groceries, etc. There are many sites out there: just input a search time such as "coupon + cereal [insert cereal name]" and you might be surprised. See this Google result here.

The last point to make about coupons is that they are essentially tax free money to you. Hopefully, politicians won't one day tax coupon savings (they could), so for now, if you can significantly reduce your costs using them and invest/save the rest, you can watch your money grow as a bonus to you.