Ah, the tribulations of a tightwad — they are many.
On Monday, I walked a mile-and-a-half to the hardware store to buy some 1/2-inch washers, nuts, and bolts. (Remember: I’m trying to walk 5-6 miles per day now, so I usually walk for all of my errands.) Every month this hardware store mails us the same coupon — $5 off a $25 purchase — so I took it with me, just in case. But my bill was only $19.88. I couldn’t find anything for $5.12 that I wanted, so I couldn’t use the coupon. At home I discovered that my 1/2-inch fasteners were too big.
On Tuesday, I walked a mile-and-a-half back to the hardware store to return the 1/2-inch hardware and buy 3/8-inch washers, nuts, and bolts instead. I took the coupon, but my total was even smaller this time. I couldn’t use it. I walked back home only to discover that my 3/8-inch fasteners were too small. (I felt like Goldilocks at this point.)
Today, I walked a mile-and-a-half back to the hardware store to return the 3/8-inch hardware and buy 7/16-inch washers, nuts, and bolts instead. I also picked up a 2032 battery for my pedometer. My total was $28.35. Perfect. The coupon would mean the battery was essentially free. Only — and you could see this coming, right? — I’d left the coupon at home. sigh
Oh well. At least the fasteners fit this time, and I was able to mount my vise to my workbench.
Not everyone is as dumb as I am, though. In fact, here are some recent stories about people who are smart with money:
First up, over at The Wall Street Journal, Jason Zweig warns that investors need to slow down. “It is at times like these,” he writes, “when a rising market sweeps our spirits up with it, that investors need to evaluate their emotions and consider whether their beliefs and actions are justified.” Good advice. As always, have an investment plan and stick with it.
Next, Mark Gavagan has a great guest post at Free Money Finance that lists 12 critical things your family needs to know before you die. (Also see Mrs. Micah’s recent article about how to save and store critical information for your family.)
I was digging through the archives Go Green Travel Green (“travel tips for the eco-conscious traveler”) when I discovered the aptly-named ultimate guide to thrift-store shopping. Wow! This is a fantastic article. It’s loaded with tips for finding used stuff at your local charity shop. If you’ve been apprehensive about shopping at thrift stores, start here.
Finally, MoneyNing has a nice little article on how to break bad habits. The key takeaway: If you want to break bad habits, surround yourself with people who don’t have that habit. This doesn’t always work — but often it does.
Addendum: Have you dropped life insurance to economize over the past year? Would you be willing to speak with a reporter about the subject? If so, drop me a line.
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