Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Sales Insanity & Honesty: $2 a Day Savings Challenge Update

Don't borrow kiddie piggy bank savings! Don't count money like Enron. Those are 2 of the honesty in savings rules I've developed for my $2 a Day Savings Challenge. These rules, I've discovered, apply not just to my daily savings target, but also to my efforts to save for bigger goals. Here are my rules so far:

  • Don't count money like Enron: It's so easy to write down phantom savings. This dubious money plan works like this: I didn't really need two new printers, but I stumble upon a buy-one-get-one half off/free offer. But honestly, if I don't need new printers, I haven't saved money by taking the BOGO offer. In fact, I've wasted money. The same applies for clothing sales, shoe sales and office-supply sales. If I buy a sale item at a bargain price, it's a waste if I buy more than I really need. Therefore, my $2 a day savings plan will not include temporary sales insanity.

  • Kiddie Savings: My children have become excellent savers and shoppers. And I've helped them to figure out if a deal-is-really a good bargain. Through our joint efforts, we've saved money. But is it fair to count kiddie cash savings in my total? Nah! That's like a writing teacher taking credit for a student's poem. The teacher may have helped but the credit goes to the student. Bottom line: My children' s piggy bank savings can't be merged into my challenge total.

  • The stay-at-home shopper. I'm browsing through the Sunday paper store flyers and I'm clicking through the Internet. I've even made a list of every item I want to buy, but I wisely change my mind. So does this non-activity count as a savings? That depends: If I have my credit/debit/cash card out and I change my mind just before the transaction, I have really saved money. And almost daily, I have stopped myself--money in hand--before buying junk food, expensive coffee and other non-essentials. But If I'm just making a wish list, with no plans to buy, then those savings aren't real.
My $2 challenge, therefore, has made me a better shopper and saver. But more importantly, I've become more honest about how much I'm really stashing away.


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1 comment:

Mrs. Micah said...

I can see how that's a challenge. Am I saving money by bringing my own lunch to work every day? Maybe I'm not because I never did anything else, nor would I really consider doing anything else. I see eating out as generally a waste of money unless it's a date or with friends. Or it's really really yummy, but those have to be limited.

Savings? Not?

I think you're doing well learning to be honest with yourself. :-)