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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Greetings Thrifty Friends,

There are lots of ways to save money. Some easy and some not so easy.

I am not a financial advisor, so I cannot give you expert advice on how to game the market or avoid taxes by incorporating yourself as a private business in the Cayman Islands. All of my advice is of a practical nature.

And after so many years of writing Thrifty Tips that means I spend a lot of time cruising around the Internet looking for new and innovative ways to save money.

Unfortunately, a lot of what is out there is a complete waste of time.

Just this morning I was reading an article on creative ways to save. It sounded promising, but once I got into the article I realized the advice was so generic as to be worthless.

One tip was literally, "Do you always pay full price? Save a ton of money by purchasing items at a discount."

Great advice; save money by not spending so much of it. Why didn't I think of that?

But what I began to realize is that often, saving money is simply being in the habit of looking for opportunities to save. The reason it popped into my head is that I did this very thing just this weekend without even thinking about it.

Keep pinchin' those pennies,

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TODAY'S THRIFTY TIP: Take advantage of opportunities

This weekend a small group of family and friends gathered at a local restaurant to celebrate a birthday. After dinner was eaten and presents were open, those with little kids went home and a smaller group of partiers decided to go out to a bar for more drinks.

So I had a choice; be a party-pooper and go home, certainly the cheapest option, or be social and go out and spend 3 or 4 dollars per beer and 8 or 9 dollars per cocktail, plus tips, for both my spouse and myself, in addition to the obligatory round of drinks you HAVE to buy when you are out with friends.

A very expensive option.

But it occurred to me that the group of us would have just as much fun sitting in my house as we would sitting in a bar. It was no further to drive for anyone, and we would all still be together. It didn't take much to talk everyone into my plan.

On the way home I invested 20 dollars in a case of beer, someone else stopped and bought a bottle of wine, and soon we were all sitting around enjoying each other's company, much cozier than we would have been in a noisy, smelly bar.

Not a very exciting story, but the point is that my first instinct was to avoid spending an unnecessary additional 40, 50 or 60 dollars for an enjoyable evening.

There are opportunities every day to save, the hard part is getting into the habit of taking advantage of them.