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Many people agree that there are two avenues to financial success: make more money or spend less money. A majority of the time, people employ a combination of the two. It seems to me that making more money often proves difficult for people. Because of this, they turn towards ways of saving money.
The paths to saving money vary greatly. Sometimes you can save a lot of money with a small, easy change and other times it takes a lot of work for small savings. After knocking off those easy ways to save money, finding additional savings can be more difficult. It is at these times, you start to see interesting strategies of saving money. I often wonder if these strategies are really worth the time or effort to implement. Since I’m particularly lazy, I find that I dismiss many of the suggestions I read. Today I’d like to highlight a couple of frugal ideas that I recently read. I will attempt to measure the savings in relation to the time, effort, and other factors to determine if they are really worth my time.
First up, The Simple Dollar makes his own laundry detergent. He has done the math and for 8 loads of laundry per week, he saves $20 a year vs. the Kirkland brand found at Costco. The math comes out to a savings of about 38 cents a week. Since I do less than half the laundry that he does, the savings are probably closer to $5. The cost of this is the time necessary to mix the ingredients. Also, it doesn’t seem too neat as Trent calls his laundry concoction “a giant bucket of slime.” I’m sure a giant bucket takes up quite a bit of space as well. Perhaps Costco’s scale brings the cost and quality down to the point where it makes more sense to just buy their product.
Next up, Finance is Personal says that hypermiling probably doesn’t make sense. According to Wikipedia hypermiling is the practice of driving to optimize fuel economy through various techniques. The article says that in vehicles that get 30 miles per gallon, it probably saves $117 a year – or around $10 a month. I think most cars get less than 30 mpg and would probably save nearly $200 a year. That would clearly save more than making your own laundry – ten to twenty times more. The extra cost to this? Well, I’d have to minimize braking, use cruise control, over-inflate tires a little bit, and coast downhills. This doesn’t really seem like any work or effort to me. I can’t seem to think of a reason why I wouldn’t do these.
I’ll implement some or most of the tactics of hypermiling and I’ll buy my laundry detergent at Costco. It’s this sweet spot of saving and laziness that I strive for. That’s what Lazy Man and Money is about.