Anyone who really knows me, is well aware that I'm a spender. Penny pinching isn't my thing. That isn't to say that I'm flinging money about like water. What it does mean, though, is that I don't go out of my way to save a few cents — or even to save a few dollars. While I think that saving money, setting funds aside for the future and emergencies, is important, I don't really think that I'm going to achieve financial freedom by clipping coupons and denying myself a weekly meal in a restaurant.
Sometimes It's Worth It To Pay More
One of the biggest reasons that I'm not a penny pincher is because I honestly believe that sometimes it's worth it to spend more money. Yes, I can go to the buffet chain restaurant and load up on mediocre food. I can save a lot of money doing that, too. But I don't enjoy it as much as I would a meal from the best restaurant in town. Since I enjoy food, and good food is a priority for me, I am willing to pay a little bit more for it.
This is true of some conveniences, such as flying at a time that I consider saner than taking a red-eye, and that allows me to see my son off to school before I leave. It's worth the extra $50 to me. Of course, there are things that I wouldn't spend as much money on. I'm not big into trinkets; buying a postcard or a cheap magnet to commemorate a trip is sufficient for me.
I'd Rather Make More Money
While I believe that it's important to get good value for my money, I don't like taking the time that it takes to be really successful at some of the techniques that are often used to pinch pennies. Yes, I look for bargains. But I'm not nitpicking over a couple bucks. And I don't enjoy the coupon game. While it works for some people, and I don't think there's anything wrong with being frugal and pinching pennies, it's not my preferred method of paying for what I want.
Instead, I prefer to make more money. I have to admit, though, that I am lucky and blessed in that it isn't usually very hard for me to make a little more. I can write an extra article or two, or take on an extra project. If I want a pedicure, I can write an extra article — there's no need for me to pinch pennies for three weeks with coupons, or skip my trip to the restaurant.
We all have different priorities, and we all prefer to spend our money on different things. Perhaps I'm not being as disciplined as I could be, but as long as I have a general plan for the future, and I'm taking care of what needs to happen, I don't see any reason to pinch pennies if I don't have to. What do you think? Are you a penny pincher? Why or why not?
Shawanda @ You Have More Than You Think says
I’m a penny pincher. I prefer the balanced approach to increasing my net worth. So, I focus on cutting my expenses while simultaneously growing my income. Instead of living like a pauper, I find ways to derive more value out of the money I have. For instance, I almost feel like a power user of daily deal websites. I’m always looking for restaurant vouchers. Dining out is one of my favorite things to do. I don’t want to give it up. The goal is to maintain a certain standard of living and accomplish my financial goals.
20's Finances says
It’s always about balance or perhaps more appropriately a spectrum. Some people land on different ends or somewhere in the middle. I personally focus more on reducing spending, but that’s because I can’t focus too much on making more money (because of grad school among other reasons). I do think it is important to still pay more attention to what you spend and limit it in certain ways, but it sounds like you are still being responsible with you money.
Credit Cards Canada says
Yeah, all good reasons not to pinch pennies. But also it’s nice to know you got the best deal possible. I guess sometimes I pinch pennies and sometime I don’t. Penny-inching schizophrenia?
I’m not really a penny Pincher, but I do watch how I spend my money. If there is something that I really want, I’ll wait until it goes on sale, and use coupons.
It really depends on people’s situation. People like you who are doing well financially obviously do not need to be penny pincher since you can afford to spend money. But there are some people who must save as much as possible because they do not have enough income to cover their spending. These people really need to find every possible way to save money. I think I’m kind of in the middle ground. I need to save but I also want to enjoy life just like you.
I’m a reformed penny pincher. I still watch my money but I’ve found that often cheaper = junk. For example, if I buy a certain food, I want it to taste good and not just be a generic mush that I choke down (some generics are okay).
I shake my head when I hear Clark Howard go on about the 19 cent razor that he uses for months at a time.
Jon -- Free Money Wisdom says
Well, you know what they say. “If you watch your pennies your dollars will take care of themselves.” I think Ben Franklin said that. I think you have to have a balance. I have a budget and I splurge every once in awhile. But I never neglect my savings, ROTH, or emergency fund. As long as you are contributing to what is important–go ahead and have some fun!
Derek - BankAim says
You would fit well in my family! My father-in-law loves so much that whenever we go out to eat we have to try at least 3 appetizers.
My wife and I try to save money but nothing like ‘penny pinching’ If penny pinching starts to take my time then that’s where it stops. My time is worth more than saving a few extra bucks
It needs a balance really. I prefer making more money than pinching pennies. But again, is your finances are out of whack, you may need to pinch pennies for a season to get back into blue. You need to retain control of your expenses so that you can hold on to the extra income you are making. Focusing on one and neglecting the other is counter productive. One needs to strike a balance