It’s The Little Things That Can Lead to Big Savings

Friday, August 10, 2018

After being burned more than a few times by instant gratification purchases that don’t gratify, you’ve probably learned to avoid the big, high-priced commitments that trap you in a wasteful lifestyle and drain potential savings.  Things like long-term, luxury car leases, expensive club memberships and especially the misstep of buying
too much house just because you were mortgage-approved for way more home than you actually needed.  Our consumerist culture is designed to breed anxiety and the cure for those anxious feelings is to buy something – that always makes you feel better, right?  But of course it seldom, if ever, does. So, you gain experience and get better at avoiding these big, obvious money traps, but watch out. You also might start skipping over the little ways you used to save cash.  And these little savings can often lead to much bigger savings, or sometimes even avoid bigger expenses, down the road.


For example, when was the last time you saw a dentist?  Maybe your teeth haven’t been bothering you, and you are absolutely diligent about brushing thoroughly at least twice a day; working your electric toothbrush for at least two minutes per session.  So you skip a couple of trips  to the dentist and save some dentist payments.  But are you really saving?   As Dr. Sam Carroll, an Arizona Dentist at Yuma Smiles  explains, often the best  and most basic way to keep your oral health costs down are those simple, little, bi-annual teeth cleanings: "One of the essential services we provide is teeth and gum cleanings. Regular check-ups and cleanings are the most effective way of stopping dental problems before they start!  You should have a professional cleaning at least once every six months, and most insurance companies cover two cleanings per year." 

An appointment with your dentist for a normal teeth cleaning probably costs around $65.00 these days, but a complicated procedure, say like a root canal and crown, usually resulting from inattention and oral neglect, can run in the thousands.  You do the math.


All of us want to make our cars last as long as possible.  One of life’s biggest expenses is driving a new car off a dealer’s lot.  You’re talking a loss of up to 40% in the first year of ownership for a new car.  But buying a new car, and then driving the wheels off of it, is still the best way to stretch your auto owning dollar.  So it’s important to take care of that automobile once you’ve finally made the plunge.  

Now, the most obvious places to concentrate your car maintenance dollars are on the engine, transmission and running gear.  And meeting the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule on those parts of your car are important for prolonging its endurance.  But a simple thing like checking and maintaining your car’s proper tire pressure can, in the long run, be one of the best ways to save money on car expenses.  Why?  Because proper tire pressure means your car’s rolling resistance is optimal, meaning you’ll use less fuel and, at the same time, diminish tire wear, thus making your
tires last longer.  Properly inflated tires will also make your suspension bushings & alignment last longer.  It’s a win-win-win situation and all it takes is buying a tire pressure gauge, an inexpensive air pump and watching this video.  Tire pressure is simple; anyone can do it.


Do you buy a bag every time you go to the store?  Hey, it’s only 10-cents, who needs to carry bags around with you all the time?  But these tiny, little costs really add up over the 68.  Buy some sturdy, plastic shopping bags and hang them on a hook next to the front door.  That way, you can remember them every time you go out and stop paying for one or two use paper bags.


One of the founders and dominant thinkers of our modern-day advertising industry was a man named David Olgilvy.  He started a small, exclusive ad agency, Ogilvy & Mather, in New York City in the 1950s, which was known for turning down as many clients as it conceded to represent.  Despite his fastidiousness, today’s Ogilvy Communications is a giant with  132 offices in 83 countries.  Ogilvy liked to advise his new, young employees at orientation with words that he claimed he once  overheard a very old, and very wealthy, husband intone to his very young, and very attractive, wife: “My dear, nothing in this  world – is worth buying.”

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