8.13.2008

A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned - B.F.

From an article in Meridian Magazine, on $$.

Ben Franklin was thinking - "For every dollar you don't spend, is another hour you don't have to work." Ben Franklin didn't mean that you should put your money in the bank. He meant that you should spend less. SPEND LESS. You save money when you don't spend it. If you get something half price, you saved half. If you don't buy it at all, you saved 100%.

(Take that, Coupon Sense! Ha!)


One day a man came in to his bishop discouraged over his dire financial situation. He was a hard worker, but his paycheck was unable to keep pace with his growing family.

"There is nothing more I can do," he said sadly. "I can't make it another year."

His bishop asked him to describe his typical day to him. "Where do you go? What do you do? What do you buy?"

"If you are suggesting that I am not careful, I can assure you that I am doing all I can to keep my expenses to a minimum."

"Indulge me," the wise bishop said, "take this paper and a pen and write down for me everything you buy for just one week."

At the end of the week, the man reported back to his bishop and they looked over his expenses. One item stood out because it was a daily expense. Each morning before reporting to his construction job, the man stopped by the local convenience store for a few treatsó just a few cookies, a big drink, and a candy bar or two. At lunch he went back for a refill and on his way home from work, when he was absolutely famished, he stopped a third time.

"Do you think you might cut down those trips to the convenience store?" the bishop asked.

"Bishop, you don't know what you are asking. This is how I keep going."

"Try it for one month. Cut your trips to once a day and see how much you save."

The man went off with a shake of his head, but he tried the experiment. In one month he saved $300. He could scarcely believe it.

"Now," said the bishop, "take your $300 and begin to pay off your debt. Do it this month and the next month and the month after that."

You can do the same. For the next week keep a notebook handy to write down every penny you spend. At the end of your experiment, gather your family together and take a good look at your list. Can you spot some waste? If not, look again!

Where do you spend most of your money? On food? Utilities? Gas? Housing? Have you bought anything this week you absolutely did not need? If not, look again. Everyone has waste. You'll find something if you look long enough and hard enough.

Now try cutting just 10% out of your budget for next week. You'll do it a dollar here and a dollar there, but my, how those dollars add up. Maybe it's as simple as having homemade soup or homemade bread or tuna casserole once a week. Maybe it's taking a brown bag to lunch.

Maybe this week you'll walk to church or school or you'll ride the bus to work or maybe you'll carpool just one day next week. You'll be surprised how little you'll miss whatever you sacrifice. Little cuts never affect your lifestyle, but they do affect your buying power.

2 comments:

Amberly said...

this? this, from a girl who never uses a budget?? it's a brilliant idea, but from you? or is this your subtle way to tell nick to take his stinkin' lunch to work already!

Nick said...

I've taken my lunch 2 out 3 days this week, and it's only Wednesday!