You could always do both, of course, but are you really going to? Concentrating your energy on the main stuff will get you a lot farther than only poking around the small beans. It may not be as fun or easy, but it works. Just ask my man Ramit:
“It’s far better to focus on cutting 25% off the two biggest areas of your spending than to worry about saving 5% on 50 things.”
He makes a valid point. Why spend all your time on the little things? When you concentrate on the biggies like home mortgages or car loans, you get more bang for your buck. Or bucks for your time, I should say! A lot easier said than done, but in theory it kicks ass.
Instead of driving 15 extra minutes to the grocery store that has the cheapest food, why not try calling your credit card company in that time and asking them to lower your rates? With the latter you could save hundreds of dollars depending on your debt, whereas you may save $5 at Food Lion.
Same goes for spending a few extra hours researching the best mortgage rates or car loans around. The hours you put in there will go muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch farther than not drinking a coffee today or cutting out a few .50cent coupons. We’re talking lots of benjamins up in hurr.
Again, you could always do the small things AND the big things to really max out savings, but more often than not you just won’t do it. I know I don’t – I spend a certain amount of time on this stuff when on my mind, and then it’s off to something fun! At the very least it’s worth some thought. What’s the worst that can happen?
PS: If you liked this, check out my review of Ramit’s new book: I Will Teach You To Be Rich. It’s my all-time favorite one to pimp out – esp for the younger generation.