discounting commissions

The Secret to Saving Money is Not Always Pinching Pennies

secret to saving money

Would you like to know the secret to saving money? There are millions of people who truly believe that to save money or make a smart financial move that you need to pinch pennies. They always haggle. Always try to get a discount. Such a mistake. You could be hurting yourself by trying to get by on always clipping coupons and looking for sales. I believe it sets you up for what I call the “poor kid syndrome”. Those who don’t believe they deserve anything nice and that they should suffer for what they get. Or, maybe that’s just my mother talking.

This is not to negate people for whom every dime is precious because they can barely make ends meet now. Some people truly do not make enough money to live on. This is for those people who do make enough money to live on, yet they continue to scrimp for no reason and have not yet learned the secret to saving money.

One of my clients called me a while back because she was starting a new travel agency. She asked me if she could send me trips to consider because I would be “saving money” by booking with her. She seemed shocked when I said I am not interested in saving money. Because I know the secret to saving money. It’s not found in getting a discount on plane fare. What you get with a discount on plane fare is the red eye. Who wants it? Or a discount on a hotel room is a room with a blocked view. Who wants it?

The secret to saving money is to pay yourself first. Even if it’s a small amount. Just do it. Set it aside in a separate account; don’t co-mingle the funds where you can easily spend it.

Another client called to ask if he couldn’t just buy a new sink before listing a home in Sacramento. I had suggested he refinish his chipped vintage sink. The estimate was $300. He could buy a new stainless sink, not porcelain, for $200, which was his preference. First, it would not fit in the same over-mount manner because his vintage sink is custom and laps a wider area of tile than a new sink will do. Plus, he needs to install it himself, which eats up more of his time. Not to mention, the original sink is perfect. So-called “saving $100” is not worth it.

Further, I just received a bid for fabricating quartz and installing a couple of vessel sinks in our house in Hawaii. It was a bit high. I could have asked for a discount or obtained a second bid. But the difference was not that great. The construction company came highly recommended. And, in Hawaii, that’s saying something. However, being on my way to 70 has taught me that consumers should not always push service vendors to reduce prices.

Bad idea. If you don’t like the contractor, call somebody else. When you think you know the secret to saving money is to get a discount from an independent contractor, you are wrong. You are building bad rapport and animosity. You are telling a person that the individual is not worth the money the person expects to receive. It’s insulting. So, even if they take your job, they probably won’t put a lot of effort into it. Human nature.

Further, not everybody is trying to rip you off. Some are worth what they charge.

I think of this today because yesterday I had an irate buyer on the other end of a transaction. The home did not appraise way over market value so now the buyer’s interest appears disrupted and it might not close. The buyer apparently objects to paying appraised value. There is nothing wrong with paying what something is worth. In fact, it’s a way you end up with what you desire. The other way, you breed disappointment.

What would you rather have? Disappointment or your heart’s desire?

Elizabeth Weintraub

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