Don’t Be Pound Wise but Penny Foolish

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8 Responses to Don’t Be Pound Wise but Penny Foolish

  1. Annie J says:

    This is a great post! I’ve written a couple of posts about the small savings being just important as the large ones.

    Every penny counts!

  2. fern says:

    There are too many people who focus an inordinate amount of their time and energy saving a quarter with a coupon or driving 5 miles out of their way to buy some grocery sale items. That may help you pay off your mortgage some day if you live to be 109, but you’ll get there much faster if you focus your energy on saving big, where it counts, whether that’s refinancing your mortgage or shopping around for auto insurance and taking advantage of all the discounts your insurer offers rather than looking for loose change on the street.

    You made a lot of generalizations in your article. I spend a lot of time looking for savings on the big stuff, but i don’t lose all restraint when it comes to everday expenses, either. It’s an ingrained habit, so it’s hard to imagine someone being disciplined about the major expenses and then suddenly letting loose when it comes to smaller things. If you’re frugal by nature, it tends to permeate every aspect of your life.

  3. Meg from The Bargain Queens & All About Appearances says:

    Shannon makes some good points, but I also agree with Fern.

    I don’t advocate going crazy buying things just because they’re ‘cheap’, but it’s very easy to waste too much time, energy, and gas trying to save a few pennies,

    So long as one isn’t buying a lot of small items, I think it’s more important to focus on finding savings for the big items. That’s why I am very, very careful about big purchases, but I don’t tend to shop around for small items. My time is worth more than that.

    As for coupons, I don’t mind using them, but I find it very hard to come across good ones — i.e., coupons for things I actually want to buy from where I want to buy them (especially since I don’t get the paper). So, I usually don’t bother.

    Instead, I buy generics whenever possible. They’re often cheaper than using coupons because the coupons are for the name brands and are overpriced to begin with.

  4. Robert says:

    I agree totally. Just the other day I was looking at ebay just to pass the time and was thinking of gift cards. So I was looking at gift cards on ebay and was quite surprised to see prices on some of the auctions go over the value of the card, not even taking the shipping and handling into account. That just made me wonder if people pay any attention at all sometimes.

  5. Meg from The Bargain Queens & All About Appearances says:


    That’s hilarious!!!

  6. Alexandria says:

    I think there is some middle ground here. I would proudly call myself penny foolish, but don’t identify with most of the article. I don’t think penny foolish people spend hundreds of dollars will nilly. (On a TV upgrade in 2 or 3 years? Are you kidding me? Even my videophile spouse would find that to be crazy).

    But I don’t waste my time saving $1 or less here or there.

    The interesting thing is I did spend much effort pinching pennies in years we were broke or were living on minimum wage. With a high wage today, I am better off forgetting the pennies. Phew. There is certainly a time and place for penny pinching.

    Unfortunately I know WAY too many people penny wise and pound foolish. Way too too too many people. I have doctor clients who do not spend enough time making money because they are wasting their time chasing few dollars. The difference shows. Our docs who do not watch every single penny and focus on their work earn so much more, net. OFten 25% more. But there is middle ground. Of course there are those who pay no attention to their finances and spend willy nilly. They’re just foolish all around. (They also tend to be the ones not bringing in the revenues because they are too busy playing with all their stuff).

    I haven’t really come across anyone as described in your article. I am sure they exist, but I think it tends to sway the other way more.

  7. Debbie M says:

    Robert, I have a friend who sold a gift card on ebay for more than it was worth. When she asked, the buyer had some weird story about wanting this card which he couldn’t buy where he was but which was perfect for a person he knew. But then it turned out to be a scan and my friend never got any money.

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