Friday, 8 June 2007

Giving yourself a 50% discount

I was reading the usenet newsgroup misc.consumers.frugal-living the other day and came across a post that suggest that we can increase our saving by cutting our spending by half. Hmm, I thought that is an intriguing concept and how it would work in real life.

Among other things, the post suggest that instead of buying $40 pair of jeans, go for the $20 pair; instead of doing the $7 lunch, buy the $3.50 instead.

In someways, this is giving yourself a 50% discount on your purchases.

I experimented with this idea over the last few days and came upon the three major drawbacks.
  1. Not for everything. This 50% rule is not applicable for all things that you purchased. It is usually only applicable for items that provide many choices across a wide price range.
  2. Don't really like the options. Sometimes, I just don't like 50% cheaper option, usually for personal reasons. For example, my lunch usually cost me about $5. The $2.50 option is a couple of potato cakes and a drink. This just does not feel me up, and I end up purchasing my later on in the afternoon. At the end of the day, I end up spending the same amount for lunch.
  3. Big ticker items. For items that would cost large amount of money such as insurance, housing, holidays, you are not going to get a 50% discount for the same product no matter how hard you look or how long you spend looking. I tried to use this strategy for some of the items that need to purchase in our house migration adventures.
Perhaps, aiming to give yourself a 50% discount may not that achievable. Perhaps, a 20% - 25% discount may be more realistic.

By using this strategy to save money, it creates a different mindset when purchasing items. Typically, I would draw up a list of item's characteristics, then I would shop around to get the best deal for it. With this strategy, you have to determine how much you have to spend initially, then pick an item to fit that that budget. This strategy would mostly work for incidental items.

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