Saving Money

Lately, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to my discretionary spending. I know that I spend more than I should on things I don’t really want or need, so I’m working on being more mindful of my choices. This has been an interesting experiment. I have found that it’s actually quite easy to save money as long as you practice a certain sense of money mindfulness.

Example:

One thing I won’t skimp on in life is a decent haircut. I have thick, curly hair that most stylists struggle with cutting. I will pay pretty much anything to have my hair cut properly by someone who embraces the curl.

Recently, I found one of these stylists. The haircut was actually quite affordable ($40 or so), and she introduced me to some products that might help bring out the best in my curls. She didn’t push to make a sale, and I appreciated that.

One of the products she recommended is a microfiber towel to gently dry my curls by cloth2hand right out of the shower. She sells these for $20 each. Not bad, I thought. I didn’t buy one that day, but filed that away in the back of my mind to consider buying one on my next visit.

I also made a mental note to keep an eye out for microfiber towels elsewhere so I could price compare.

One night at Aldi, I found a twelve-pack of microfiber towels for $4.99.cloth

That’s right – a twelve-pack. For dirt cheap.

So by not simply grabbing the shiny object when it was literally dangled in my face, I got a much better value elsewhere without sacrificing the high-quality haircut that is important to me.

Another example:

I had a $10 coupon to CVS that was about to expire. I was determined to use every one of these ten dollars. I could have just gone and bought ten dollars worth of stuff and been done with it. Instead, before going to the store, I checked online to see if there were any other coupons I could use to maximize the savings.

It’s CVS, people. Of course there were other coupons I could use.

Neutrogena had a coupon for $3 off, as did L’Oreal. I wanted to buy a new mascara, so that was perfect. I spent some time looking at both displays before making my choice.

I ended up walking out with a mascara, a new eye shadow, and a coffee drink for about a dollar and change.cvs

All it took was a few extra minutes to look up some coupons, and then some patience in the store while I made thoughtful decisions rather than just grabbing stuff off the shelf like I used to do.

Another example:

There were two books I wanted to read recently. The old me would have placed an order online and had the books delivered to my door. New me called the local library. They had both books on the shelf. All I had to do was make one phone call and drive to the library two miles away, and I got both books in my hand that day, for free.

I’m finding that patience and thoughtful decision-making are the keys to saving money when it comes to discretionary spending. I’m looking forward to what other deals I can find.

What tricks have you found to save money or maximize your spending?

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