Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

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What do I mean by penny wise, pound foolish? Saving a penny, but it costs you a dollar. Here are a few examples:

Extreme Couponing: I watched an episode of extreme couponing years ago and the first thought that came to my mind, aside from obsessive, is that the coupon clippers spend way too much time trying to save money. If an average family spends around $200 to $250 on groceries weekly, but they spend 30 hours a week couponing, aren’t they missing out on actually earning money? Multiply 30 hours by a minimum of $20/hour working and the result is $600. Even if $200 out of that goes towards taxes, it makes sense to try to earn more money than trying to save $200 by cutting coupons all day. The net result of working would increase your cash flow by around $10,000.

Not Investing in Yourself or Your Business: Aside from retirees, most individuals make the most income from earnings as a business owner or an employee. Don’t hesitate to intelligently invest money to further your career to produce more income, or to invest money into your business to produce more profits. Investing can be in the form of items designed to produce more income, such as marketing, or to reduce expenses, such as updating your equipment and use of technology.

Spending Too Much on Items That Are Tax Deductible: Just because you can save taxes by paying loan interest, or by purchasing a new vehicle and equipment for your business, does it really make economic sense to do so? Spending a dollar to save a quarter is definitely penny wise, pound foolish.

Doing It Yourself or On the Cheap: Should you really do your own plumbing if you have never done it before just to save some money? It may end up costing you more when a real plumber has to fix your mess! I also see this with tax and accounting matters, but I am biased in this area, of course.

I still remember the first time I heard the penny wise, pound foolish saying (actually it was a partner at a large public accounting firm, and he said, “penny wise, dollar dumb,” but it still means the same thing). Think before trying to save!