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Everyday Cheapskate: On Saving Money and Spreading Manure

Mary Hunt on

As you may know, the mission of this column is to discover ways to save time and money every day. You help me by sending me your great tips, tricks and ideas; I help you by boiling it all down here. That answers what the column is for, but why should you read this column?

Why should anyone be concerned about saving money? Have you ever thought about that? Who cares?

While you're pondering, I thought I'd share with you the ultimate reason that saving money is so important to me, personally. But first, let's define some terms.

Saving money is defined in two ways, which many people use interchangeably:

-- Saving is spending less than I would have because an item is on sale or a particularly good deal is offered. It's like saying, "Wow, I just saved on these really cute boots that originally cost $225 but were on sale for just $188!"

-- Saving also refers to accumulating money to be stored in a safe place and not be touched, as in, "I save $100 a month by having it automatically transferred to my savings account."


Technically, unless you stash away that $37 you saved on the boots and don't touch that money, you're not really saving anything -- you're just spending less than you would have if those boots had not been on sale.

So, why do I save money? I see it as a tiered proposition. My goal is to spend less than I earn so that I have money to save for these purposes:

-- To fund my own emergencies.

-- To prepare for the future when I will no longer have an active income.


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