The biggest mistake I see people make while trying to save money is running around searching for the best price. In the meantime, they are wildly inefficient in how they bring goods into their lives.
I help clients save money by getting into their transactions with them. I do this by streamlining their expenses. I’ve seen hundreds of people financially naked. I’ve looked at what makes them tick. And I’ve come up with a four-part system for saving crap tons of money.
The thing that I want to talk about today is around increasing efficiencies. Most of the time, retailers, culture, and society tell us that we need to get the best price. We need to be price shopping and we need to be clipping coupons. That distracts from the fact that the more you shop, the more you’re going to spend.
I have a little secret for you: You cannot save money in stores.
You can save money in banks, but you cannot save money in stores. The best that’s going to happen is you’re going to go into a store and not spend any money. This is not saving money; it’s just not spending.
Watch where your money goes.
Part of the work that I find to be most effective is to increase efficiency. First, you’re going to have to start looking at where your money goes. This means tracking your transactions. You can use free online apps like Mint.com or anything of that nature.
Count your transactions.
Once you have that done, you want to count the amount of transactions it takes to buy common things in your life. You might want to start with food, shopping, gasoline, or other things like that. So let’s say, for example, it takes you four or five trips to the grocery store to buy your groceries for the week. That’s going to be an indication of a bleed.
To increase efficiencies, you want to stay out of the store as much as possible. Sometimes we set up delivery options, like Subscribe and Save or Cartwheel. These can help to free up the time you spend shopping. You’ll have more mental energy and you’ll stop the stress of thinking, “Oh God, I have to stop and get toilet paper on my way home.”
Being more efficient costs significantly less.
I’ll give you a quick example. I had a client who was going to go into three different grocery stores every single week price shopping. She would go to the discount store for school snacks for her kids. She’d go to the local meat market because they had the best prices on meat. And then she was going to the regular grocery store for produce and household items.
She was obsessed with getting the absolute best price on everything. I compared what she was spending to other people in the same area with the same family size. I found out she was spending $75 more a week than the average family. Every time that she was going into the store, she was exposing herself to impulse purchases.
You can’t save money when you drive across town to get the best deal and buy one extra box of granola. When you do that you’ve misplaced your savings, time, and effort. To increase your efficiency, decrease the amount of time that you spend in stores.
Think about your shopping in systems.
What’s the least amount you can go to the stores while still living a comfortable life? For most people, grocery shopping is once a week. Clothes shopping is somewhere between one and four times a year. Household items go from once a month, all the way up to once a quarter, depending on how organized you are.
That’s going to help you to save money because you’re not exposed to impulse purchases. Every time you go into the store, you’re up against retailers. They have spent billions of dollars on decades of research. They know how to get the most money out of your pocket every time you visit. There’s a reason why the milk is in the back of the store. That’s the thing that you went there for, right? So, you have to walk all through the aisles to get it.
It helps to create a system.
It helps to ease the stress in your life because you’re not always running around. You’re not constantly busy. And when you let some of that busyness go, you have time to think. You have time to plan. That time helps increase your happiness levels while decreasing your spending. Speaking of happiness, you can save money without sacrifice.
Are you ready to Find Your Bleed? Take my class.