How to Save Money by Cost Control is a discovery process. One of my debt free goals was to save money with great passion since I’m part of the Million Dollar Club!
After I became totally debt free by paying off my mortgage, this past February, I was very excited about being able to sock away an extra $1,500 a month into savings and investments. I imagined myself every quarter of this year, plopping almost $5,000 into a balanced mutual fund or ETF.
So how much extra money have I saved up for investing? nada, nil… nothing at all. Now, I knew that I would have an adjustment period at the beginning, that would stun my initial investing plan, but I didn’t see it lasting this long!
I’ve learned that Cost Control, is the new root of my saving problems. You see, when you have more money in your checkbook, it’s easier to justify getting the more expensive or quicker product.
Here are examples where my cost control wasn’t in place:
- My old Lawnmower (Mean Green) was finally forced out of action (I’ll blog in greater detail about Mean Green some other time). But instead of looking at Craigslist for one or buying a cheap model from Lowes, I went out and bought a new Toro self-propelled (variable speed) lawnmower!
My new lawnmower (called Red) is spectacular! I love it, but I also spent about $375.00 dollars on it. To me this seems a bit pricey!In the days when I still had a mortgage, I would have went out and bought a cheaper model, or bought a used lawnmower. In fact, my boss offered to sell me a cheap used lawnboy as a replacement… But I declined.I’m sure if I put my mind and efforts to it, I could have found a lawnmower for at least half the price.
- Car problems. My wife’s car was experiencing a car problem. So what did I do? I call my favorite mechanic and asked him to get it in today and fix it. My mechanic is great, so that was exactly when he did, but it cost me $450 dollars. Now you might be thinking what is so bad about this? Well, we have a few friends that are auto mechanics. We could have waited and had one of our buddies look at the car and fix it for a lot cheaper! After the fact, my one buddy told me that he could have cleaned the part and that might have made it work. He said he would have done it for free. So I paid a premium to get it fixed that day! It would have taken my friend at least 5 or so days to get to it.
- Changing the oil on the car. I haven’t done this in years! It’s easy enough to do, but I always convince myself that it’s not work the time and energy (and perhaps it’s not). Some people may say, yeah but what about the cost of oil disposal… Well, you can drive your old used oil to any Walmart car service department and they will take it off of your hands for free! It’s possible to created a paper funnel and pour the oil into a plastic 1 gallon milk container, then put the plastic cap on to keep the fumes contained. I have used the milk jug trick for the oil changes I did performed on my old lawnmower and snow thrower.
If you stay focused and realize that you are wasting money by doing such as I have above… You can save money by using more focused cost control!
Have you every mode impromptu decisions that you knew weren’t the best, but because you had the money to do them, you did them anyway?