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Old 03-05-2012, 12:30 AM
 
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I suppose those of us in the frugal club have heard the phrase about pennies becoming nickels, nickels dimes, dimes quarters, etc....well.....

-- Idling your car (while waiting for someone to run into a store or picking someone up from work)

-- Leaving lights and appliances on (if leaving the house for 15 mins or less)

-- running water while brushing teeth

Do you think little things like this add up?...or not?
Do you do them?
Are they too little "waste" to worry about?

Any other behaviors you can think of that fall into this category?
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:27 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Most of those fall into the category of saving money by using half the tooth paste you normally would. They're relatively painless to do, but they won't save you any money in the long run. I don't really do any of them (as in run the water, idle the car, leave the lights off). It's way easier to remember to just turn the light off (conditioned, I just do it) than to think and leave it on because I'm just going down to the mailbox. 'Course I also do randomly turn lights off on people left in the room on occasion too...
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:51 AM
 
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Well, out of those three:

- My cars shut the engine automatically whenever I'm idling.
- My lights turn off automatically when I leave the room (sensors)
- I try not to run the water when brushing teeth, but it's still a habit I'm working on.

I honestly see little financial benefit from these little things. They won't add up to any practical amount worth considering at an individual level. However, they are all good for the environment.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:14 AM
 
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They do make a little difference and for folks near the edge those few dollars a week can be huge.

On the other hand, if living a frugal lifestyle is important to someone, then the big-ticket items (career, spouse, kid(s), housing, vehicle(s), insurance, etc.) are areas that provide significantly greater opportunities for earnings/savings.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Location: Location
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Of course the little things add up, if you do them constantly. Turning off lights is a biggie with me. And with my arthritic fingers, too!

The little things that I feel are a waste - paying three or four (or more) dollars for a greeting card simply because it says Hallmark on the back. The dollar parlor sells greeting cards twofer and recently, $1.00 They have art work on the front, a greeting, and the inside carries a verse or a sentiment of some kind. There's a company logo on the back, it just isn't Hallmark.

Before there were dollar stores, I still refused to pay inflated prices for greeting cards. Just bought card stock and made my own. Being frugal often leads to being creative.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Turning on the hot water tap, when you don't intend to let it run until it's hot. I often find myself just turning on the hot to rinse my hands, even though it''s cold when it comes out. But it drains that amount of water from the heater tank, which now has to be reheated. The amount that is saves is microscopic, but thinking about it helps the mindset, which cumulatively saves real money over time.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Location: Location
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Turning on the hot water tap, when you don't intend to let it run until it's hot. I often find myself just turning on the hot to rinse my hands, even though it''s cold when it comes out. But it drains that amount of water from the heater tank, which now has to be reheated. The amount that is saves is microscopic, but thinking about it helps the mindset, which cumulatively saves real money over time.
I just did that! But I won't be doing it again. Unless it's absolutely necessary to wash my hands, I'll utilize the big bottle of sanitizer (it was free at my oncologist's office) that sits next to the soap dispenser. Thanks for the reminder, jtur.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:24 AM
 
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yep, it's the mindset that is the issue, but if you REALLY want to save, for a year or 2, stop paying rent and utilities. Live in a van, pickup camper, old trailer, tent, etc, and use the 20k or so that you've saved to set yourself up a much, much better life.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:29 AM
 
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Yes, the little things do add up... but not as quickly as the big things..

I'm trying to convince my husband that once my car dies, I don't want to replace it. And I'd like the cable and land line phone to go as well. We've already talked about stripping the cell phones down to basic pay as you go once we are done with the current contract.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:51 AM
 
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The concept of scrimping pennies started in the days before health insurance. Back then, homeowners insurance was unknown, and auto insurance was not even a dream. When you start adding up all the various costs, like those above, cellphone, television delivery, internet delivery, and the various taxes, the percentage of savings possible through scrimping compared to those costs is almost laughable. Worse, by attacking those small areas first, you delay taking the bulls by the .... and tearing them off.

Go with only a catastrophic insurance policy, shop for all insurance at least once every couple of years, rip out the landline if you don't need it. Be more wise in shopping for food.

We moved out of south Florida to a rural area. Our auto insurance dropped to 1/4 of what it was. Property tax is about 1/10th what we were paying. We have no water or sewer bill. When homeowner insurance went well above 2% of replaceable property value, we told the company to take a hike. I can read the actuarial tables as well as anyone, and a vague fear that something MIGHT happen is no reason to allow someone to rip me off continually. Add up your homeowner premiums, subtract any claim payments, and unless you had a total loss, you come out on the short end of the stick. Add them up over all the years you pay and then estimate how that money could have done in a conservative investment and you'll blanch. Then recognize that if you DO make one or two large claims you will be considered "uninsureable" and you'll get really angry.

Focus on the most effective methods of continually removing expenses. If you do that and want to scrimp, fine. Just don't fool yourself that the one can replace the other.
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