Many folks are often looking ways to cut expenses. It’s enticing to think about how a few small changes can add up to big results.
I generally tend to think that we can’t save money unless we make it – which is why it’s important to really focusing on trying to grow income and protect it. That being said, when it comes to the total picture, saving money obviously matters and has its place. Of course, the name “Squirrelers” should be an indication that this blog supports squirreling away money!
So, along those lines, I can get into a mode where I’m looking to periodically find ways to save some money here and there. I was thinking about how much I spend on food, which really seems to be getting more expensive these days, and it seemed like a good place to start trimming costs. Maybe bringing food from home for lunch could save money, but also eating less food too. The concept of Hara Hachi Bu, which I related to money in a prior post, might result in savings. Less food consumption might be healthier, and cheaper too!
But then I started thinking that such ideas are often easier said than done. Sure, they can be done. But do we want to go through the effort of cutting back on the basics? To me, the personal finance hierarchy of needs is a good way to look at what can and can’t be cut easily.
Here, it’s clear that food is a base-level need. Why not cut costs on something else? We also need medical care, and basic shelter. We can’t cut there either, right? Doesn’t that make life harder?
Going back to shelter, there is one area where we can cut – but it’s at the higher level of the pyramid where “comfortable” home is noted. In other words, while we need a place to live, it simply needs to get the job done. It doesn’t need to be luxurious.
Where am I going with this? Well, what it comes down to is that when we are looking for ways to save money, let’s be realistic. Instead of micromanaging every penny spent on basic needs, why not live with a little bit more freedom on those things – while focusing on the bigger ticket items. Such as, the decision to buy an upscale home or the decision to buy a big brand name car. Here is where we can save big with just a few decisions, instead of painfully pinching pennies on basic needs.
My Questions for You
Do you find it tough to sustain frugality in terms of basic needs?
What do you think of the notion that a few big ticket expenditures are where we can often make smart decisions to save the most money?