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Everyday Cheapskate: Like Finding Money You Didn't Know You Had

Mary Hunt on

You know the feeling when you reach into the pocket of a coat or pants you haven't worn for a while and pull out a $20 bill? What would it feel like if you pulled out hundreds of dollars? And what if you found money like that month after month?

It's not magic; it can be done. Pin holes in your financial life can turn into massive money-gushers. Patching these holes is the key to improving your income.

The problem is that it's easy to ignore the tiny cracks. We're busy! There's the mortgage or rent, car payment, credit cards, insurance, college savings, carpools, vacation plans, retirement accounts, work benefits, kids, dog, guinea pig. So, the little stuff happens without our noticing.

We think:

-- What's the harm in picking up dinner from the drive-thru again? Our lives are so busy, and we have to eat.

-- Why go to the trouble of scoping out the sales before I hit the supermarket? My time is valuable. I'll dash in, buy what looks good, and the kids will eat.

 

-- Why pay more than the minimum payment this month? It won't make that much difference in the long run, and besides, I need to start Christmas shopping.

-- Forget generics; they're inferior to the brand name in every way, and for sure not at all reliable.

Those kinds of small, seemingly innocuous everyday financial decisions that pop up regularly can end up costing thousands of dollars a year.

Consider the following:

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