Monday, February 18, 2008

Sweat the Small Stuff

We keep our eyes open everyday. Hegazelle watches, and I watch. Some people chalk it up as an idiosyncrasy and think we should chill out a bit. But we have seen what a difference it can make when a person is mindful of it every single day.

I'm talking about the small stuff. I believe it can have a significant effect on one's finances. The small stuff eats up our cash flow. We may not remember today's "small stuff" tomorrow, yet it ate up a piece of our money. According to Thomas J. Stanley, author of The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind, most millionaires became such by being mindful of the small stuff.
One thing that many see as small that is now HUGE in my eyes is the expense of eating out daily for lunch vs. taking a lunch to work. Once a person complained to me that they had absolutely NO extra money in their budget, and therefore could not save for a small vacation with their spouse. I tried to explain nicely that this wasn't so. While I'm not familiar with their budget, I do know that this person eats lunch out every day of the week. And when this person casually mentioned their gardener later in the conversation, I quickly pointed out that the gardener was an extra too.
It's certainly a mindset that one has to acquire. Before, we couldn't see how cutting out such small things could make a difference in the long run. And maybe someday when I'm well on my way financially I will loosen up on some things. But for now it's working. Every little job we find on Craigslist, every time we pack a lunch, every time we cut a corner and save a buck. How else would we have been able to pay off well over half of our car in a little less than a year?
And trust me, some day someone besides me WILL be mowing my grass.


Anonymous said...

Thats crazy that your coworker would be so selfish that they eat out everyday and not take their spouse an a vacation