Incorporating a Thrifty Mindset

There is more to being thrifty than just using coupons and walking out of the grocery store with a cart full of food for a few bucks.  Although, figuring out the secret to extreme couponing would be great!  Most people, young and old, along with businesses, are always looking for ways to get more while spending less. 

Saying “no” is one way, but “no” isn’t always possible.  Also, sometimes spending means greater savings down the road.  For example, many years ago my husband and I had a vehicle that we owned ‘free and clear.'  No monthly payments were nice; however, the monthly repair cost at an average of $400 was more than a monthly loan payment.  Also, ending up with a broken down vehicle on the side of Interstate 70 with young kids in the vehicle is not one of my better memories.  Dealerships were offering zero percent financing, and it made sense to get a new, dependable vehicle that we didn’t have to wonder where we would be the next time it died.  I am not advocating for loans, but sometimes they make financial sense.  Especially when debt-to-income is low, the loan is at zero percent interest, and the money that would have been used to buy the vehicle can be invested in a product with a nice rate of return.    

This blog article isn’t about loans, but about incorporating a mindset of stretching one’s dollar.  Having a mindset to figure out ways to decrease costs at work or home is a way to save money in the long-run.   

Lowering expenses takes an intentional mindset.  That intention takes time researching, calculating, and sometimes bargaining.  For businesses, it can also mean allowing someone to take the reins of a project rather than hiring another employee or outsourcing to a costly company.  In my own personal and professional experience, researching has saved me a lot of money and frustration.  Also, listening to others has offered great ideas which have turned into significant savings at times.  Another way to incorporate a thrifty mindset is improving organization and time-management skills.

Organization and time-management allow for more time to analyze and discover ways to lower costs.  Additionally, these two skills typically allow for less reactive responses to solve a problem that involves money.  Being less reactive can also include looking forward.

Examining what is happening currently and how it may affect the future is an important tool for decreasing costs.  For example, knowing that a printer will need to be replaced in six months allows a person or company to research and plan for the purchase.  Many times a printer stops working, resulting in a reactionary purchase which can typically cost more.  Or, it could mean repairs costs that could have been avoided with prior planning.

Most people work at being thrifty through the use of coupons and bargain shopping.  Companies work at decreasing costs with bulk purchases and controlled spending over certain dollar amounts, to name just two techniques.  However, it takes an intentional mindset to look for ways to lower costs on a consistent basis.