Going Out of the Way to Save Money

Don’t Waste Money to Save Money

If you’re anything like me, you do everything you can to save money. Whether it be shopping at the less expensive grocery store or buying gas from the cheaper gas station, there are no limits to the lengths some will go to save a dime. However, you may be taking your quest to save money a bit too far. Are your money-saving activities actually costing you more in the long run? The answer might surprise you.

A Tale of Two Women

I’m going to tell you a story about two women. One we’ll call Sylvia and the other we’ll call Andrea. Andrea and Sylvia both live just two miles from a grocery store that charges a little bit more than the one 10 miles away. While Andrea foregoes the extra travel time and spends the extra buck, Sylvia makes the trek to save money.

Let’s say for comparison sake that they both buy the same exact groceries. Andrea’s total comes to $150 and Sylvia’s comes to $136. Is the difference in price worth it?

When you take into account that it costs about 50 cents per mile to operate a car, Sylvia’s actual savings is $10 each time she goes shopping. If she does that each week throughout the year, she’s saving $520 each and every year. In my book, that’s worth it.

However, now let’s look at the same scenario when these women go shopping for gas.

Andrea gets her gas at the gas station down the block for $2.95 per gallon. Sylvia travels 5 miles to get her gas for $2.89 per gallon. Let’s say it takes 20 gallons to fill each of their tanks. Andrea spends $59 to fill her tank while Sylvia spends $57.80 so Sylvia is spending just $1.20 less than Andrea. However, once you calculate the money that it’s costing Sylvia to operate her car for those five miles, she’s actually losing over a dollar every time she fills her tank not to mention the fact she’s going out of her way to do it.

A Little Thought Goes a Long Way

So the next time you’re thinking about going out of your way to save money, take just a minute to calculate the cost of your efforts. If you don’t, you might be losing money in the long run.